Creative Call-Ins Says Goodbye to Owner of Over 30 Years
Published 8:00 am Friday, November 10, 2023
By Alex Amos
Local bakery Creative Call-Ins announced a transition of ownership on Oct. 20 through social media after over 30 years of business.
Former owner, Betty Westbrook, announced in a post that her retirement would officially begin on Oct 23, allowing her predecessors, Meagan Frye and Lori Jeter, to take over the business.
“For more than three decades, Creative Call-Ins has been renowned for its delicious homebaked goodies, beautiful gift baskets, and warm, friendly atmosphere,” the official Facebook post said. “Although bitter-sweet, longtime owner, Betty Westbrook (“Ms. Betty”) will transition into a well-deserved retirement on October 23rd, leaving behind a legacy that will continue to thrive under new ownership.”
Meagan and her mother, Lori, have experience both in the kitchen and in the medical field with Meagan having been a certified physical therapist assistant since 2012, and Lori nearing retirement as a physical therapist at Southern Rehabilitation.
Meagan and Lori may be new to owning the business, but their background with Creative Call-Ins runs deep within their roots.
“I grew up in LaGrange, and anytime we had a sibling that was born or we had really any occasion, we would get baskets from Creative Call-ins,” Meagan said. “I’ve known about Creative Call-Ins for what feels like my whole life and if you’re from LaGrange, you know what it is too.”
Westbrook wanted to quietly sell her beloved business to someone she could trust to keep her traditions going, resulting in her asking several loved ones about their interest in taking over Creative Call-Ins.
“We heard that Ms. Betty wanted to retire and sell the company, but she didn’t want to really announce it to the public, and I think she just wanted to wait to hopefully hear from the right people,” Meagan said. “She mentioned it to me and to my mom, and it just seemed like a really neat opportunity for us to buy Creative Call-Ins.”
To the delight of many loyal customers, Meagan and Lori have expressed their intentions to expand on their newly acquired business while still maintaining the same practices and products that the community of LaGrange has grown to love over the years.
“I think our customers are excited that we’re not going anywhere, but I would say probably the biggest hurdle right now is we want to keep all of our baked goods the same,” Meagan said. “They are tried, true, and good, but we also want to grow, so we’re just trying to find that balance between how to keep our customers happy while implementing change.”
After Westbrook sold Creative Call-Ins and retired, she continued to support the new owners through their transition, helping them learn the ropes of the business and navigate the needs of their clientele.
“I would say that the biggest blessing we had was Miss Betty Westbrook because she stayed on with us,” Meagan said. “She actually let me come and spend time with her before we bought the business to learn the products, the food, the customers, and where she buys products from, so without her, I think we would have had lots of bumps in the road.”
Frye and Jeter have also announced through social media their plan to bring a new member to their business. Meagan’s sister, Mallory Denuzzia, has agreed to move her floral business, Wildflower MJ, to the Creative Call-Ins location in hopes of collaborating with her family.
“In the next few weeks, I’ll be trusting the Lord in a new way as we move locations to Creative Call-Ins,” Denuzzia said. “[We will have] two businesses in one location so we can give the most to our customers.”
As new ventures and opportunities open up, Frye, Jeter, and Denuzzia look forward to the prosperous future of their respective companies.
“We want to offer something that can bring a smile or joy in a dark time, but we also want to be there for the celebrations,” Frye said. “The people of LaGrange trust and use us all the time, so I really hope that we can continue to reach our community and just serve our them however we can.”