EDWARDSVILLE - The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is proud to celebrate Lizzie Bob’s Bakery located in Fairview Heights.
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In 2013, Elizabeth Toepfer began pursuing her dream of owning a bakery, initially starting from home. As her bakery operation grew, Toepfer sought assistance with her business plans and operations, and, in December 2015, reached out to the SBDC and Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May.
Toepfer started baking at the age of 12, drawing inspiration from her Aunt Marilyn, owner of The Pie Pantry in Belleville. In 2013, Toepfer began selling her made-from-scratch baked goods at local farmers markets. Business was growing, and three years later, in 2016, she opened the doors to Lizzie Bob’s storefront.
In addition to baked goods, this woman-owned and family-run bakery offers frozen meals. The small business also began offering frozen meals, an idea spurred by the pandemic. “We were able to pivot during COVID, giving us a chance to weather the pandemic through catering and the opportunity to offer customers prepared meals,” said Toepfer.
During this challenging time, Toepfer reached out once again to the SBDC for assistance. Di Maggio May kept her updated on relief programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Impact Disaster Loan (EIDL). The SBDC assisted Lizzie Bob’s in applying for COVID relief funding to help them sustain operations.
When significant delays in funding were experienced, Toepfer reached out to the SBDC for assistance in identifying the issue. Together they called the SBA to find out why the request was still pending approval. The problems were easily identified and addressed, and Lizzy Bob’s was quickly funded. Future plans for the business include the addition of a food truck.
“Jo Ann has been great,” said Toepfer. “She provided excellent service and has helped us build our network. She is always quick to respond to my questions or concerns.”
At Lizzie Bob’s Bakery they “make all life special occasions sweeter,” where you can choose from pastries, frozen meals, ice cream, farm eggs and local honey. They offer delivery in Fairview Heights, Swansea, Belleville and O’Fallon from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. They accept online orders with 48-hour notice for in-store pickup.
To learn more about Lizzie Bob’s, go to www.lizziebobsbakery.com. They can also be found on Facebook and Instagram at LizzieBob’s Bakery.
The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East assists start-up ventures like Lizzie Bob’s Bakery as well as existing businesses headquartered in the nine-county region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIUE as a service to Illinois small businesses.
By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively impacts the Metro East by strengthening the business community, creating and retaining new jobs, and encouraging new investment. It enhances the region’s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large.
To learn about the SBDC, contact the IL SBDC for the Metro East at SIUE at (618) 650-2929.