Business

Ginnybakes of Miami, seller of organic sweets, goes out of business

Ginnybakes, which made organic, gluten-free snacks, ws run by the family team of Steve Simon, president, left, his wife, Ginny Simon, CEO/founder, and son Michael Simon, vice president. CARL JUSTE cjuste@miamiherald.com
Ginnybakes, which made organic, gluten-free snacks, ws run by the family team of Steve Simon, president, left, his wife, Ginny Simon, CEO/founder, and son Michael Simon, vice president. CARL JUSTE cjuste@miamiherald.com

This #MadeInMiami story doesn’t have a happy ending.

Ginnybakes, maker of cookies, bars, crumbles and baking mixes that were organic, gluten-free and kosher, has closed and is liquidating its assets, court records show.

Founded by Ginny Simon of Miami Beach, Ginnybakes looked to be a family business on the rise. Husband Steven Simon, a former attorney, ran operations, and son Michael also worked in the business. The company’s products were made and packaged in Miami, they were proud to say. Company T-shirts sported the #MadeinMiami hashtag.

But the company’s website has been taken down. No note to customers was left on the company’s Facebook page, which was taken down by Wednesday. On Tuesday, the page hadn’t been updated since August, although a couple of customers had commented that they had ordered cookies that weren’t delivered and wondered if the company was out of business.

A civil court document filed on Oct. 2 in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Miami-Dade County showed the company was in debt for about $3.68 million, and had designated Kenneth A. Welt as the assignee for the creditors in the liquidation. An auction of its equipment and company van took place Nov. 17. The Simons did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Ginny Simon launched Ginnybakes in 2010 with its first products, which were baking mixes made of organic ingredients. The mompreneur and mother of four sons said she wanted to create snack foods that were both healthier and tasty.

She had set up shop in a friend’s warehouse and had use of his commercial kitchen for a while. By the end of 2011, she had built out her own 1,200-square-foot kitchen. Outgrowing that, the Simons bought a building in 2012 at 3535 NW 60th St. in Miami for its company offices and manufacturing, which by then had also included packaged cookies and bars. About that time, the company was beginning to expand nationally with Fresh Market and had begun entering Whole Foods. In 2014, it entered its first Publix, in Miami Beach.

Also in 2014, Ginny, Steve and son Michael Simon were selected as high-impact Endeavor Entrepreneurs, which means they would be mentored and supported by a global network of business experts. Endeavor, a nonprofit supporting entrepreneurship, helped the company build an advisory board, and offered access to experts in the food industry.

In 2015, Ginnybakes landed at No. 211 on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies, with $2.15 million in revenue in 2014 and a three-year-growth rate of 2,027 percent. In 2015 revenues grew to $3.1 million and products were being sold in hundreds of locations, the company said then. In 2016, the company reportedly had 35 employees. In its court filing, Ginnybakes lists 21 former employees.

“It’s been a real sense of fulfillment that this product launched, hit supermarkets and is a national product. This is my dream, this is my passion project, I taught my boys more lessons from this than anything else I ever taught them. It’s about hard work, ambition, drive,” Ginny Simon said in 2016.

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