The scent of Hana Roberson’s doughnuts are just a week away.
Roberson intends to reopen the doors of Hana’s Bakery at its new 874 Spider Webb Drive home this coming Tuesday. At 7 a.m. that day, visitors to the bakery will once again get a chance to taste the doughnuts her customers constantly ask about.
“People have been calling me — are you open? Are you open?” she said.
It’s been a long road for Roberson since she began relocating her business in late March. Roberson said she contracted with James Donald Sides Jr., 32, to bring the new building up to code and move her equipment from the old location on North Broad Street.
She’s since accused Sides of stealing some $30,000 worth of bakery equipment. A magistrate agreed with Roberson May 31 and ordered Sides’ arrest.
Now Roberson’s dealing with prosecutors, paperwork and making sure her equipment is prepped for next week’s opening.
“At this point, I’m just trying to make it to that day,” she said.
As Roberson walked through the building where her bakery will open, she pointed to the vent hood — an essential component for making her doughnuts. Workers crawled in the ceiling above her as she moved from the back of the building to the front.
Patrons will step inside the bakery and see the doughnut display case on the far wall, near the cash register. To their right will be the counter, behind which an employee will help customers with their orders.
On the left people will see a countertop where cakes and other items ready for pickup will wait.
The loss of her old bakery equipment was a blow to Roberson. Her eyes welled with tears when she talked about her grandmother’s jewelry, taken by Roberson from the Czech Republic, that she was forced to pawn. At one point she had only $40 to her name.
Since then she’s recovered some of her old equipment, acquired some new pieces and is days away from bringing the building up to code. She’ll then give herself one day to test everything and ensure it’s ready for opening day.
Roberson credited businessman Lee Bagley, La Marie’s at Magretta Hall, Troy’s Bar-B-Que and everyone who’s helped her over the past months.
“I just want to tell everyone, thanks for all the help,” Roberson said. “Just be patient. I’ll be back on Tuesday.”