July 5, 2013 —
When it comes to food, the Bishop family of entrepreneurs has spent 20 years dishing up Main Street eats.
The tradition ranges from Pasquale’s Diner owners Jan and Tom Bishop to their children, Kelly and Paul, who decided to approach a different genre of food service by opening a jointly-owned specialty bakery, the Bakery on Main.
When a customer walks through the double doors of the high-windowed, open spaced bakery, senses are immediately engaged.
Eyes meet an array of colorful tarts and gelato flavors while smells of hot, fresh bread roll out of the triple-decked authentic French oven.
The bakery is marking its three-year anniversary this fall. Though Paul and Kelly agree opening their first business was tough, Kelly says they are finally settling in.
Kelly says for a time she and her brother would begin their workday at 2 a.m., which was particularly problematic for Kelly who would have to bring her daughter with her and make her a bed before taking her to school later each morning.
Getting a solid footing in the business was the most difficult part, says Paul.
“Other than saying we both want to do this because we can cook a little bit, it’s quite a different aspect doing it from a business perspective,” he says.
Before the bakery, Paul and Kelly were traveling from North Carolina to Germany working in the food industry after getting culinary degrees from Sullivan University in Louisville.
Jan and Tom were able to lure them back to Morehead by offering them the vacant building adjacent to Pasquale’s.
But before they could make any food, they had to focus their efforts on a complete remodel of what years ago was the first bus station in Morehead.
Now, entirely transformed and running regular hours, the younger Bishops are looking forward.
During slow summer days, they use their extra time to experiment with new products they can launch in the fall when school resumes.
But even though students aren’t frequent summer customers, Paul says a different crowd comes out to play.
“There’s a lot more local people you see come in and they don’t get out as much during the school year when there’s so much of what they call ‘traffic.’” he says, referring to the flood of students from the Morehead State University campus, located across the street.
The Bishops agree that many lessons were learned -- some the hard way – since they opened three years ago.
“We’re still a constantly evolving creature. We’re always looking to diversify and build a better mousetrap because as much as we do know about it, there are still things you learn along the way,” Paul says.
Sometimes, they see people comparing them to other dessert hot spots like Root-a-Bakers and the Fuzzy Duck. But they are more specialized in baking than the others.
“When we first started, we wanted to focus on baking and not add all the other types of cooking because we didn’t want to be overwhelmed and spread themselves too thin,” he explains.
He grins as he adds that they’re the only bakery in the East Kentucky that serves true Italian gelato.
Inspiration for a community-based bakery came from their “mamaw” who used to serve Sunday breakfast where she cooked an enormous meal for any hungry souls passing by.
Paul recalls his interest in cooking beginning with watching her work around the kitchen as family and friends and even people he didn’t know would stop by to get a taste.
Because of this, the Bishops say they want people to look at the bakery as more of a hangout where they can come and socialize. Buying things is optional but encouraged, of course.
From interacting with the community to busting out treats in the kitchen, Paul and Kelly love what they do.
“Sometimes it’s work, definitely, but I really do enjoy my job,” he says. “It’s like a big hangout, you know? You come in, you make stuff, you play with food, you get to munch on stuff and snack on it while you work. Plus, people come in and out all day. You meet new people, you see familiar faces, and you see people you grew up with.”
Lana Bellamy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.