My name is John J. Georgagis and along with my wife, Melissa, I own and operate this 85 year old bakery and this is our first website and my first blog! I’ve lived in the Mon Valley my entire life. I grew up in Stockdale, and attended Charleroi High School. As a young man, my intentions were to become a math teacher, and I earned a bachelors’ degree in Secondary Education and Math from California University of Pennsylvania in 1992. However, as fate would have it, after completing my student teaching experience at Belle Vernon High School, my path changed dramatically and I ended up employed as a purchasing agent for Heat Exchange and Transfer for about seven years.
Although I was somewhat content, I had always dreamed of owning my own business. I had many memories of going to the Keystone Bakery with my parents, where my aunt would always give me a cookie or an Éclair – one of my favorites. I didn’t know anything about running a bakery, but not long after my wife and I married I learned that my uncle John had intentions of selling the bakery. Growing up in a family like mine gave me a sense of deeply rooted traditions and many of those family-oriented customs were, in my mind, associated with the bakery and Monessen, itself. My wife and I talked it over and made the decision to keep the bakery in the family, and we purchased Keystone in 2007.
Missy and I have immersed ourselves in the business, learning the recipes, creating new products and carrying on the “Saturday Visit” tradition to the bakery with our own children now. Our oldest, Athena is 8, Anastasia is 6 and our baby, Niko is four and they all look forward to both visiting Keystone as well as devouring their weekend treat of cookies and donuts! We hope they will follow our lead and someday take over the operations.
We are really excited to be taking the business into the 21st century – new website, new products and new customers. But, we intend to maintain the reputation, the traditions, and the strong sense of family that this business was built on.