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Doughnuts, chili and burgers helping jumpstart a Latonia business renaissance

Posted at 11:56 PM, Aug 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-11 00:48:21-04

COVINGTON, Ky. -- Keith Bales opened Moonrise Doughnuts in Latonia to recreate a treasured memory from his youth: Coming into the Latonia Bakery late at night to snag hot, fresh doughnuts and spend time with friends. The Latonia he remembers from that time was full of small businesses, many of which no longer exist.

Bales and other recent entries to the culinary scene hope they can revive their neighborhood with new ones. They're getting a helping hand along the way from city rent subsidies that make it more affordable to bring a fresh-baked business into the world.

"Incentives are available at all levels of government, but a lot of times the little guy isn't eligible because there's not enough job creation," Bales said. 

The subsidies from which he and businesses such as Bard's Burgers and Chili benefit are different, which is "exciting," he said.

"It really helped us to be able to jumpstart our business," he said.

Jordan Stephenson, who owns the small burger joint -- "the dive that's worth the drive," he joked -- said he hopes the "heart of Latonia" continues to grow. His business and Bales' are just the first steps.

"(We want) to draw people down to what we call the center of the universe in Latonia," Bales said.