By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Eight years ago Dennis Bankert made the rounds in Millington and South Tipton County handing out samples of product he was preparing to offer from his soon-to-be business.
On Oct. 22, 2004 the doors at 8253 Highway 51 North Suite 103 opened to the public as Banky’s Donuts and Pastries. And for nearly a decade Dennis and his wife Christine served donuts, cakes and treats.
This past weekend that run came to an end when the Bankets announced via Facebook their were closing Banky’s immediately.
“We’re in finincal problems,” Dennis acknowledged. “We’ve been trying to get caught back up on the rent. But unfornuately it hasn’t been quick enough.”
“It was a hard decision,” Christine added. “We haven’t generated enough sells. This past summer, it was hot. People don’t eat a lot of sweets in the hot weather. We had a real hard summer. We were coming off a real soft year because of the economy.”
With the response of the closing on Facebook, the Bankerts said their impact on the community wasn’t soft. Banky’s had nearly 700 likes and within a day of the closing statement more than 60 comments of well-wishes and prayers were left.
Over the years Banky’s gave tours to local troops, schools and churches about the inner working of a bakery. Dennis and Christine donated pastries and donuts to local businesses and events during their run.
“We never sold our day olds,” Christine noted. “We gave them to Rose of Sharing because they do great work up there. They help in recovery.”
The ministry up in Munford gave back to the couple Monday morning helping move equipment. With Rose of Sharing repaying the favor, Dennis said he feels Banky’s fulfilled its mission statement.
“Part of the mission statement was we wanted to be a part of the community,” he said. “I believe we did. A lot of this feels like failure. But we were a part of the community. That was our goal to deliever quality and customer satification. And we want to be a contributing member of the community. And we did that. It’s like losing family.”
Christine said closing the doors of Banky’s is like a death in the family. The Munford residents have been involved in the bakery business for nearly 30 years. And their time in Millington gave them an opportunity to build lasting friendships.
“We were very proud of what we did,” she said. “That was our name. We were very proud of what we did.”
Dennis said he will miss the customers he knew by name and getting a pop-in visit just for some fun-nature heckling.
With tears in their eyes, the Bankerts said closing down their dream is painful but they will take with them the love they received from customers.
“It’s unbelievable of how many people we have touched,” Dennis concluded. “Thank you and you will be missed. We appreciated all the business and we’re going to miss you all.”