Sweets shop pushes through sour back-to-back business blow

Open For Business

MORTON, Ill. (WMBD)– In the midst of a global pandemic, Keely Letourneau is taking each day in business one by one.

“I had never done anything at all like this,” she said.

Letourneau’s Morton store, Sucré Sweets and Socials, brings in a flair of French. Sucré means sugar and it pays homage to her family’s French roots. The shop’s walls are lined with candy, serving as a reminder of life’s sweeter moments.

“I prayed a lot about it and it just kind of felt like it was the right way for me to go,” said Letourneau.

Before she opened up shop two and a half years ago, entrepreneurship was not on Letourneau’s radar, neither was COVID-19.

She said, “We like to be like a fun, inviting space where people come in and get together and that all has gone away right now.”

Under the state’s stay-at-home order, not only is Sucré’s storefront closed for now, so is another prominent moneymaker: the shop’s rentable space for group events.

“I was very concerned that we would have to cancel those [events],” said Letourneau. “And not only lose that revenue for those months, however it will impact the families.”

The business has had to make creative changes to keep afloat. Letourneau has established more of an online ordering presence for the shop. She has even incorporated a walk-up trolley storefront on certain days of the week.

Letourneau is now also handling most of the business operations herself. She says she can’t pay her staff as regularly.

“They want to be able to be here, but they know that in order for us to be open when all of this is over, they kind of have to sit back and wait,” she said.

“We need to be able to be open. We need to bring in the money. I mean we have to or we won’t survive this.”

Keely Letourneau

It’s not the only sour moment that Sucré has faced this year. The store’s cash register of money was stolen during a February break-in. The door is still boarded up.

Letourneau laughed, “We’re still kind of working through that. I thought that would be our big challenge for 2020. So that in hindsight is minimal compared to what we’re going through now.”

But even in the midst of these sour moments, she says she’s not giving up.

“It’s been a challenge. But I love it. I love what I do. I love the community that I’m in,” she said.

Sucré Sweets and Socials can be reached here.

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