By Marsha Brown
Former elementary school teacher Jeri Lionberger can easily stand the heat and has no intention of getting out of the kitchen
Jeri’s offers a variety of seasonal items as well as trendy pastries for social events.
Jeri Lionberger recalls the moment when she first decided to open Jeri’s Back Home Bakery.
“I was a teacher at Houston Elementary in Mineral Wells,” Lionberger said. “Every time, we would have a little party, you know, a birthday or somebody was retiring or having a baby, I always made the cake. I remember one day we were having a birthday party. This teacher was having a piece of cake, when she turned to me and she said, ‘This is great. What are you doing here?’”
Soon, Lionberger found herself drawing out plans for her bakery on the back of a lesson plan as her students took a test.
“I guess eventually,” Lionberger said, “you really do have to go with doing what you love best.”
The moment she retired from teaching, Lionberger started shopping around for an affordable storefront in a high-traffic area as a location for her bakery.
“I found it in York Avenue in Weatherford,” Lionberger said. “It’s perfect. It’s right across from Yesterdays (sandwich shop). I thought it would give the girls one more place to go.”
Lionberger felt that the time had come for her bakery, although while she was working on the lease the economy took a dramatic downturn. Undaunted, Lionberger opened the doors to Jeri’s Back Home Bakery, last April.
“We’ve been busy since day one,” Lionberger said. “My customers have been great.”
Regular customers come from as far away as Possum Kingdom, Mineral Wells, Aledo and Weatherford.
Regular Jeri’s customer Kelly Hamilton attributes Lionberger’s early success to the fact that she loves what she does, which makes her shop a cheerier place to walk into combined with her willingness to go an extra mile to help her customers.
For Tara Copeland, it’s a homecoming of sorts.
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