We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsey Magee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lindsey, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
For me, success is defined by the achievement of my personal goals as the business owner. My main intention of starting up this business, was to create a space where creativity, community and family are cultivated. I definitely feel that this has been achieved at Ollie Vaughn’s kitchen and bakery. I believe the most helpful thing that I continually try to practice is to detach my ego from the brand. Community, family and creativity struggle to thrive when the leader is focused on their own image. Ive seen many business where the owner ties the success/failures to their own identity and I believe that can create a lot of fear and anxiety in the environment. This space is so much more than me and the effort and love I contribute.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Ollie Vaughn’s kitchen and bakery opened seven years ago in the Coronado Historic District in downtown Phoenix AZ. We are a quick service cafe open for breakfast and lunch. Our coffee and bread are sourced locally and we bake all of our pastries in house. The darling of our menu is the classic French croissant, which we hand laminate daily. This precious dough is used to make our best-selling breakfast sandwich, the almond croissant, a rustic cinnamon roll and our decadent ham and Gruyere croissant. As a business owner who puts passion and community before profit margins, keeping the doors open hasn’t always been easy. In all honesty, if I didn’t come from a position of privilege, this business wouldn’t have survived the first few years. My family helped support me and the business. Even with that help, I was delinquent with bills and had to negotiate with various utility companies and vendors to work out payment plans. When I was faced with that kind of financial struggle, I really did question my passion for the project. The business is named after my great-grandmother and her picture hangs on the wall near the front door. On one particularly slow summer day, I spoke out loud to her picture and asked her for guidance. Was this the path I was supposed to be on? I felt so lost. The very next day, we had a line to the door and sold out our entire deli case. I was so grateful for her quick response! This business is so high risk, the profit margins are so tight and the work is so physically and emotionally demanding, that it is really important to focus on the love and passion for food service. I believe this is what makes this business so valuable to the community.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If you’re visiting me, this is 100% the itinerary. Food: Los Dos Molinos, Otro Cafe, Durants, Cibo Pizzeria, and of course Ollie Vaughn’s. Shopping: Noons, Desert Crafted and Local Nomad. Drinking: TMI and Rips. Visit: Phoenix Zoo (for the kiddos), Desert Botanical Gardens, and a day trip to Oak Creek Canyon.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It may seem obvious, but the Ollie Vaughn’s crew can not be overlooked. Jacob Norris, Erick Piñeda, Jootch, Snipes, Victor Vizcarra, Landon Hooser, Niccibon, Lexus Haskins and all the great employees that have contributed to this place in the past, THANK YOU!!! You are my family, my friends and my joy. Im grateful everyday to get to laugh, cry, scream and cook with you all!!