LYNCHBURG, Va. – From cookies to cupcakes, giant cinnamon rolls to pizza rolls, customers like Vickie Montgomery said she has enjoyed Mrs. Joy’s Absolutely Fabulous Treats in Downtown Lynchburg, not only for the tasty treats but also because of its owner Tarsha Joyner.
“[Joyner] does everything from scratch. She keeps everything on point, and she’s somewhat of a control person, but it keeps her things in order,” said Montgomery.
But one thing the detail-oriented Joyner can’t control is inflation.
Joyner said she’s facing some not-so-sweet struggles, just like other small businesses across the country.
Mrs. Joy’s Absolutely Famous Treats’ sales are down 30% compared to this time last year – and Joyner said she may have to close her doors by the end of the summer.
“If things don’t get better, then that will be it,” said Joyner.
Joyner has appeared on the Food Network four times since 2015 and recently used her online fame to post a video on social media, where she asked for suggestions.
Joyner said the cost of many ingredients has doubled, even tripled, from cream cheese to chocolate to sugar.
“Can you imagine not being able to have sugar when you run a bakery? That’s just crazy!” said Joyner.
What’s even crazier is that Joyner is taking on an additional job.
“My employees get paid before I do, so I got a part-time job for the summer,” Joyner said.
Joyner said she’s putting her degree in computer programming, graphic design and business administration to use. She’s going back into an office setting to help pay her eight employees.
“We have to give them hours or they’ll go somewhere else, and my employees are amazing, so I don’t want them to go anywhere else,” said Joyner.
Customers like Montgomery don’t want them to go anywhere, either.
“I would hate to see her close, but I can understand why,” said Montgomery.
Customers hope Mrs. Joy’s can fight the headache of inflation to continue satisfying their sweet tooth.