BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - The Hamilton community is coming to the rescue of a small local bakery police say was vandalized and robbed Saturday night.
The Almond Sisters Bakery began at the Hamilton Farmers Market and moved into a storefront on High Street in 2015.
The bakery is run by three sisters who say they have worked hard to build up their business. Then the pandemic forced the store to shut down for three months, and the sisters had to hold off on paying for their insurance premiums.
The reported break-in has now set them back even more, they say.
“We are an artisan bakery,” owner Jenni Hubbard said. “(We) make everything from scratch, from pastries, cookies and breads.”
In 2017, the bakery got a boost from the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, who tweeted out a picture of Hubbard inside her store. Hubbard says the community helped out in other ways as well getting the store up off the ground.
Monday she had to send out a message the bakery was closed because someone had broken in.
Hubbard says it was her husband who noticed the destruction when he arrived for work Sunday morning.
“He saw the broken glass and noticed that the Coke cooler had been moved out of the way and that the cash register had been stolen,” Hubbard recalled.
Her husband immediately called Hamilton police and was told not to go inside the bakery. Hubbard says eventually he did find the cash register
”He noticed that there was change in the alley right here,” she explained, “so he followed that change trail and he saw that the register had actually been dumped in a garbage can.”
‘Broken but not destroyed’ is the message painted on the plywood now covering the bakery’s shattered window.
Hubbard says within hours of her post, she started to get responses from the community pledging their support. A friend created a GoFundMe for the bakery
“And then in a matter of ten minutes it was over $900. in a matter of ten minutes,” Hubbard said. “He set the bar at $2,000. In an hour, we’ve blown past that.”
Hubbard says they spent Sunday in their store cleaning up after the break-in. Then she says people started walking in handing them money: “Just donating, handing us cash,” she said.
“A wave of hope just came over me, because I know Hamilton just turns up.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Hamilton police at 513.868.5811.