‘Secret Millionare’ keeps gluten-free bakery in Evanston from closing

It’s not quite a ‘Miracle on 34th Street,’ but a story of hope is unfolding this Christmas Eve in Evanston.

Rose’s Wheat Free Bakery and Cafe would have closed up shop Monday if it hadn’t been for customers and donors coming together to save it.

Closing on Christmas Eve would put the shop’s 22 employees out of work, and deprive people with food allergies from having the tasty, special restaurant food.

“We drive all the way from Crystal Lake, which is over an hour away. And we don’t have anything out there where we can eat like this,” said customer Holly Maychszak.

But in the spirit of the season, a kind stranger stepped up — someone who recognized a good business deal when he saw one. His name is Marcus Lemonis.

“He called and then he said, ‘Well, I’ll take care of everything,'” said owner Rosemarie O’Carroll. “And I was like, ‘Well what does that mean?’ you know?”

What it meant was that Lemonis was going to write O’Carroll a very large check: “He’s writing a check for $200,000.”

Lemonis is the CEO of Camping World. He has also appeared on the TV show “Secret Millionaire,” meaning he is no stranger to wonderful deeds. He made O’Carroll a partner, paying the bills and clearing away the debt. Now he plans to help the business turn a profit.

“This is a business investment as well. So as I said to Rose, ‘I’m glad we’re staying open, I’m glad the employees are all keeping their jobs, but we’re going to have to figure out how to make money,’” Lemonis said.

“We’re all very happy here. The people, customers are coming in and high fiving,” O’Carroll said.

“A lot of people came to pick up the product today, whether its quiches or desserts, a lot of folks would not have had this on their Christmas table and for me that’s enjoyable,” Lemonis said.

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6 comments

  • DEBRA HARRIS

    GOD IS SO GOOD,I DON'T EVEN LIVE IN THAT STATE BUT THANK YOU SANTA…SO MANY OF US ARE ALREADY HAVING A HARD ENOUGH TIME BY JUST TRYING TO SURVIVE AND MAKE ENDS MEET BUT YOU STEPPED IN TO HELP THOSE FAMILIES THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN WITHOUT A JOB…MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

  • Vito ristorante

    What a great Chistmas story. Good luck. Marcus Lemonis the world needs more people like you. Its better to give, then to take from……. Happy New Year. Chef Vito Vitos Ristorante Rockford,IL

  • Elaine

    Thank you so much Marcus Lemonis! After a year and 1/2 of my daughter not being able to eat a sandwich at a restaurant, I went into Roses and cried knowing that she could eat everything! You are a miracle! I really appreciate that you were able to save Roses for our family. It is such a special place for us!

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