I have to be honest, it had been at least a year since I had enjoyed a LadyBugg Bakery salted caramel brownie when I heard the news in the Spring that Heather Bugg Ries announced on Facebook that she was closing her family’s Hernando bakery.
All of a sudden I was filled with longing for a sweet that I fondly remembered as one of my favorite brownies. When she had a shop in Midtown and a booth at the Memphis Botanic Garden farmers market, that brownie was a treat I indulged in often. When she moved her shop to Hernando, it became an occasional treat due to the driving distance from my home.
After reading the post, I picked up the phone and immediately called Heather, who had worked for me at my now closed restaurant Cheffie’s Market & More when she was in high school, to check on her.
While it was time for Heather to move on from the bakery she ran with her mother and sister (I am confident I will be writing about this talented chef again one day), she let me know that it was not gone for good.
Megan Cole, a lawyer with a passion for baking, had bought the business.
Megan reopened LadyBugg Bakery on June 24 with the same name and almost the same menu.
“I have always wanted my own bakery,” Megan told me. “Their first location in Hernando was near my office and I went often.”
When Heather put the word out into the Hernando community that she was hoping to sell her family bakery, Megan gave her a call. That was in early January. It took a few months longer than expected thanks to COVID, but the bakery eventually switched hands.
The 34-year old Ole Miss grad grew up in Hernando. Megan started baking as a hobby, and soon turned her love into a side business.
Every morning, she now heads to the bakery in the wee hours to start the bread for the lunch menu and the retail cases. It’s a big change from her life as an attorney, but she is following her dream.
In the bakery cases are items like the “Not a Hostess” cupcake, lemon bars, Helly Dolly bars, macarons, mini quiches and loaves of fresh bread. “We are still using the same recipes,” she said.
Specialty cakes and large orders of baked goods are available for pre-order. “We appreciate a few days notice,” she added.
Megan also kept the entire lunch menu, but added several salads to it.
She hopes to add a take-and-bake section of prepared foods in the future. “I just have to find the space for it.”
Megan said she has been grateful for the support that the Hernando community has given her.
And in case you are wondering about those salted caramel brownies, they are still on the menu. I foresee a trip down to Hernando for one soon!
Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining Reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.
If you go
Where: 39 W. Commerce St., Hernando, MS
Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday – Friday and 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
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