Good Eden Cafe and Pizzeria puts an emphasis on local ingredients, and community
Lexington, KY – The lunch crowd at Good Eden Cafe and Pizzeria was sizable no matter how you define Wednesday afternoon standards. And it was just as diverse, consisting of 20-something professionals gossiping during a quick bite away from work, older folks enjoying a midday meal out and every demographic in between chitchatting over sandwiches, pizza or a salad.
There was even a pair of toddlers frolicking near the entrance.
You had to wonder if Lonnie Sheets, the new business’ owner, was able to absorb how assorted his guests were that day. All indications pointed to him being too preoccupied with keeping orders processed correctly and in a timely fashion. Not that he was complaining later that evening.
“I’m keeping pretty busy,” Sheets laughed.
That’s a good sign for a guy who stepped out of the corporate comfort zone he had occupied for 20 years to take a chance on something he says could be pretty special.
Sheets opened Good Eden in The Paddock Shops plaza (109 Springdale Dr.) in Nicholasville with a soft opening shortly after Thanksgiving. But after spending 10 years operating a Panera Bread location, he figured he was taking a big enough chance simply going out on his own that rolling the dice during the holiday season couldn’t make that much of a difference. Besides his wife, Stephanee, was still employed with Panera, so they had fallback income if things didn’t work out. He had also arranged a sweetheart deal with his new landlords (with whom he had a preexisting relationship) that included him not having to pay rent until the start of the new year.
Sheets decided to go ahead and get things cranking and now, nearly four months later, Good Eden is building momentum –– though maybe not exactly as Sheets had forecasted.