Kelly’s Bakery in Bloomington is Icing on the Cake
When fourth-grade teacher Kelly Mathy started baking and selling decorated sugar cookies out of her home, she had no idea it would evolve into Kelly’s Bakery and Café, one of Bloomington’s favorite lunch spots.
“Before my husband Jamie and I were married, I made cookies from my home,” Mathy recalls. “It started with a bet and a dart game with my principal, but that’s off the point. By the time we were married, I was up to 250 dozen cookies between November and January. That was an insane time.”
When downtown Bloomington’s Pumpernickels restaurant went up for sale in October 2005, the Mathys toyed with the idea of starting their own café and bakery.
“Jamie, my mom and I tooled around Italy talking about it,” Mathy says. “When we got back, we collected the financials, did the homework and took the plunge.”
Kelly’s Bakery and Café opened in November 2005 and quickly gained a large lunchtime following.
“I really thought the bakery would be the leading part, but I was wrong,” Mathy says. “We’re a lunch destination.”
The menu includes made-from-scratch soups, tasty quiches and unusual sandwiches, the most popular two being the Turkey with Caramelized Onions and the Black Russian.
“Both have a homemade pesto dressing, and we slice the meat and cheese each morning,” Mathy says. “Our potato salad is also really popular. We go through about 30 pounds a week.”
A favorite summer dish is Kelly’s farm-fresh tomato stuffed with chicken salad. In the fall, Kelly’s is known for homemade applesauce made from local apples and honey, as well as melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin bars.
“We do a lot of individual serving-size decadent desserts,” Mathy says. “My personal favorite from the bakery case are the toffee squares. It’s a recipe my mom made when I was a kid. Our Reese’s peanut butter cup cookies are very popular too.”
The dining room at Kelly’s is filled with local art for sale, and the café offers free WiFi. Jamie helps with the bookkeeping aspect of the business and “is a great cinnamon-roll roller,” Mathy says with a smile.
“We are a pretty eclectic place,” she explains. “Jamie and I are foodies. Getting to try out new things, create recipes and bring good food to the community makes it all fun. When I was little, I helped my mom cook – it just carried over.”
Kelly’s Bakery and Café is located at 113 N. Center St. in downtown Bloomington. The restaurant is closed on Sundays. Hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 7 a.m to 2 p.m. For more information, call (309) 820-1200 or visit www.kellysbakeryandcafe.com.