Like something out of a holiday-season movie, Rose’s Bakery in Evanston, Ill., has found the Christmas present it needed.
According to a report by Evanston Now, the bakery had been scheduled to close Monday (Dec. 24) because owner Rose O’Carroll’s lack of $104,000 to keep the business open.
But at the last minute, bakery patron Marcus Lemonis came up with the money to save the business.
Lemonis, the chairman and CEO of Good Sam Enterprises LLC and Camping World Inc., will become majority owner of the bakery, with O’Carroll staying on as a partner.
Lemonis recently appeared on the ABC television series “Secret Millionaire” where he returned to his hometown of Miami and helped save three charitable organizations there. Also in the works is a show on CNBC, tentatively called “The Big Fix,” that will feature Lemonis putting up over $2 million of his own money to turn around failing companies all across America.
Lemonis said the bakery deal was much more personal than the planned CNBC show, where “he’ll do anything and everything” to turn a business around.
“Having gone gluten free over a year ago and becoming a patron of Rose’s Bakery & Wheat Free Café, I know the love and devotion that customers have for Rose’s as I am one of them,” said Lemonis in a news release. “I have been following the business closely, and when I heard that Rose would have to close its doors on Christmas Eve, I knew I had to step in and save the business.”
“As the new owner and partner of Rose’s I am committed to not only keeping the business open but growing its customer base and having a successful and profitable business.”
O’Carroll had begun a campaign to raise $104,000 before Christmas Eve to keep the business open. By Friday she had only raised around $13,000 and planned to shut the bakery’s doors on Monday.
But Lemonis struck a deal with O’Carroll where he wrote an initial check for $200,000 to become the majority owner of the business with a commitment of an additional investment of $150,000 over the next 18 months.