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Kelly Bishop, 37, says she's exhausted half the time. She started operating The Bakery on Main in Morehead with her mom and brother in 2010. Kelly wakes up at 4:30 six mornings a week to bake scones, cookies, muffins, bread and other goods.

Making it on their own

story by Nic Antaya

Kelly Bishop's life is consumed by two things: making pastries and Madison.

Just after 5 a.m. at The Bakery on Main, Kelly presses balls of cookie dough flat onto a baking sheet while her brother, Paul, uses a fork to seal the edges of fruit-filled turnovers. After a couple of hours, right around the time the family's bakery opens for business, Madison, who's 16, needs to get to school.

"I sneak out for 45 minutes to an hour and I can take her," Kelly says.

Her daughter is a bright spot in a long day that includes the sometimes tense moments that come with working closely with family. Kelly grew up working at her family's restaurant in Morehead, but she didn't intend to stay in any food business. She wanted to be a nurse or something. But then there was Madison.

So she went to Louisville, got a culinary degree, and, in 2010, she, her brother and her mom started the bakery. Now, at 37, Kelly opens the store and Madison closes it.

"The first year and a half, two years, we were opening the bakery I would take her with me at 2 o'clock in the morning," she says, "and I'd have a bunch of pillows and blankets in the car and she would come in and put a couple of those arm chairs together and curl up and go to sleep until 5, 6 in the morning then get up and start getting ready for school."

Kelly feels tired trying to balance her life as a single mother while running a business. Madison is one of her most effective means of dealing with stress.

"We act like goofy goobers together," she says. "Her dad was kinda in the picture until she was about 3 or 4. It's just been me and her ever since."


Kelly, from left, her 16-year-old daughter Madison Barker and Madison's friend Abby Caudill joke around with one another and the family dog at Kelly's home. Kelly and Madison often "hunker in for the night" to eat dinner or watch TV together.


Kelly and Madison slide into Madison's Mustang before leaving home for Rowan County Senior High School.


The bakery is next door to the pizza shop Kelly and Paul's parents own in downtown Morehead on East Main Street between Bishop Avenue and Battson-Oates Drive. The bakery opens Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Paul Bishop, 41, from left, Kelly Bishop, 37, and Ricky Turner, 28, prepare turnovers, cookies and bread in the kitchen at The Bakery on Main, which is operated by Kelly, Paul and their mother, Jan. Kelly says working in a family business is a challenge. "I get along with mom most 95 percent of the time," she says. "It's my brother that I have problems with more than half of the time."


Growing up, Kelly Bishop worked in her family restaurant, Pasquales Pizza & Pasta, and didn't plan to stay in food. She said she was going to go into medicine before she became pregnant with her daughter. Pursuing culinary at Sullivan University allowed her to finish a school program sooner than the time required for nursing.


Kelly prepares a cake in the back of the kitchen as her brother Paul handles customers waiting in line. "I just feel kind of burnt out this year," she says. "It's nothing I won't bounce back from but we've been doing this nonstop for seven years now."


"That's all the money I took!" Kelly says after her mother, Jan Bishop, 70, accuses her of shorting the cash register. After checking her math, Jan realized she was wrong. "The older you get the more it leaks out," Jan says.


Kelly prepares chicken, mashed potatoes and mac and cheese as Luna plays with a toy while Madison works at the bakery. Kelly has been a single mom for the majority of her daughter's life. "I haven't minded it," she says. "I would've loved to have her have a whole family unit like I did instead of just me being both things."


"It's all about work right now. And Madison," Kelly says. "She's a junior this year, so I only have about a year and a half left."

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