Hello fellow Lakehouse Lovers,
My name is Kenny Frost, and I manage Acorn Farmers' Market and Café in Manchester, Michigan. I have been working with Keegan since December, and I want to help people understand how important Keegan is to the community.
First, if you haven't seen the Youtube video of Keegan’s cooking demonstration, please watch it. It's hilarious, and his love of cooking shines through.
In the six months, I have worked with Keegan, I have seen how he handles bumps in the road. Throughout shipping and staffing issues, equipment failures, and COVID scares, Keegan has remained poised, graceful, and apologetic. He has been eager to compensate for anything perceived as less than professional, even when the situation is perfectly understandable. This is a small, but crucial aspect of community building-- a level of accountability Michiganders are famous for.
As if small bakeries weren't difficult enough to operate under the best of conditions, soon after the one year mark of our global pandemic, Keegan's health began to fail suddenly and dramatically. What was reported as a migraine on Monday turned to acute liver failure two days later. I shouldn't have been surprised when suddenly my inbox and text messages began to flood with inquiries: "How is Keegan? What can we do to help?" For anyone who had worked with Keegan before and during my tenure, I was suddenly the sounding board for all those concerned. It was heartwarming to be hearing these sentiments during such a scary time.
When I saw the initial list of donors for the GoFundMe, I shouldn't have been surprised that people who haven't worked with Acorn for months had donated. I also shouldn't have been surprised (but truly still was) when Lakehouse Bakery’s operations barely slowed. For someone as involved as Keegan is in every aspect of his business, a diagnosis like this grinds operations to a halt almost every time. How his friends, family and staff swooped in to fill his sizable shoes and keep operations humming was a rare and inspiring thing to witness.
The professionalism I had come to expect from Keegan was echoed by his stand-in cadre of loyal crisis managers. We were asked to pull a certain loaf of bread from the shelves because they were worried it wasn't "up to the standards," though three of us tasted it, and thought it was as good as ever.
In case I haven't made the case strong enough, please consider:
Keegan purposely brings more than I order every Saturday because he knows the leftovers are donated to the Community Resource Center to help feed families.
Keegan and his driver insist on helping to stock and shelf the deliveries every week even though we've added refrigerated sandwiches, which can be time-consuming.
Keegan met with board members to discuss how to enrich our community-building programs and offered his services for a fee that I can't imagine covered his costs, much less his time.
Am I beginning to make my point? No?
When I couldn't donate some of his sandwiches to the Community Resource Center because they would have expired before I could get them there, Keegan was pleased to hear that I gave them to a local business instead.
Keegan lent me his book for the rigorous food manager exam for almost a month. Then he drove to Manchester to proctor my exam in person and insisted on waiving the fee.
And I could go on... The point is, please donate to the Lakehouse Bakery’s GoFundMe page. If you donate to charitable causes every month like I do, please support the community-building business model that Keegan embodies every month until he can get back on his feet. Let’s save Lakehouse together.
Store Manager, Acorn Farmers' Market and Cafe