- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

BEDFORD, Ind. (AP) - Scott and Laura Stroud didn’t set out to own a successful local bakery when they met while working in the bakery of the old Bedford Kroger 30 some years ago.

They were very happy working at Kroger, but then came opportunity, and Scott couldn’t pass it up.

So the couple used their baking and pastry skills and took a small bakery tucked between a dry cleaning business and a gas station and turned it into a successful business that has been brightening up mornings in Bedford for 25 years.

When the Strouds purchased Magic Morning Bakery in 1988, there wasn’t a doughnut or smiley-face cookie in the display case of the 16th Street business.

Those items, which are the bakery’s top sellers today, came along later.

“When we started, we had cinnamon rolls, kolaches, sausage and cheese rolls, four kinds of cookies and a few pies and dinner rolls,” Scott Stroud told The Times-Mail (http://bit.ly/19s5pry ).

Today, the bakery makes 13 types of cookies, 11 pastries, 14 flavors of pies, five specialty cakes and 31 different doughnuts.

The smiley-face cookies, which Laura remembered from downtown Bedford bakeries past, are hugely popular, especially at Halloween and Valentine’s Day.

“On a busy weekend we may sell 180 to 240 dozen of them,” he said.

Scott said their goals were modest when they started out.

“We just wanted to make a living, pay our bills and be able to stay in Bedford,” he said.

Modest maybe, but it was far from easy. For the first three years, Scott, Laura and his sister Sherri Stroud were the only employees of Magic Morning.

“We gave up insurance, a good retirement, and we had a 5-month-old,” he said, looking back at the decision.

“I used to come in at 3 a.m. and work until 7 at night,” he said. “We worked like that six days a week for three years.”

The business grew, and the Strouds hired a few employees. The success of smiley-face cookies and doughnuts increased the business even more. He’s no longer working 16 hours a day, but Stroud said a 60-hour work week is the norm for him.

For years, the only time the bakery closed was one week in July. Stroud said this year, they closed the week after Christmas, something they plan to continue.

He said he doubts Magic Morning would be the business it is without a high level of commitment.

“You have to be dedicated,” he said. “You have to put everything into it you have. Your personal and family life suffer, but if you want to succeed, you put everything into it.”

Fourteen people, in addition to Scott and Laura, work at the bakery. Each “day” begins the night before at 10 o’clock when Sherri Stroud, the night manager, comes in to make all the pastries. At midnight, the doughnut maker arrives, followed by another doughnut maker, who hand rolls and cuts the dough, at 2 a.m. At 5 a.m., more employees arrive to open up the bakery, make the coffee and work the counter. In the afternoon, Scott and Laura and other employees make and decorate cookies and cakes. In the late afternoon as the day winds down, Scott does bookkeeping.

“Our peak time is between 7 and 10 a.m. and Saturday is our busiest day. That’s when customers and families come in to sit and have breakfast or coffee,” said Scott.

For Scott, that is his favorite part of owning Magic Morning.

“I love the people. I could work the counter all day,” he said with a smile. “We have some customers who are like family. They know us and we know them.”

___

Information from: The Times-Mail, http://www.tmnews.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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