Fluff May Sell, But Won’t Change, Owner Says

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What has become a staple of the Court Street landscape may see some changes in the next few months, if its owner is able to sell the establishment.

Fluff Bakery on Court Street has listed their business for sale with the Athens Real Estate Company for $165,000, but owner Jess Kopelwitz said The Fluff will continue on.

“Fluff is not going away,” Kopelwitz said. “We’re not going under, none of that.”

But with a child on the way in the Fall and another business under their belts, Kopelwitz and her husband Jason decided to see if they could pass on the business they built from scratch on Court Street.

“This is a sustainable and viable business,” Jess Kopelwitz said. “If we don’t find the right people, we won’t sell.”

Fluff began in 2010, where it developed as a bakery, breakfast and lunch restaurant that supported the creation of Jess Kopelwitz’s Blockhead Donuts and a second location for Jason’s Rickshaw Thai dinner restaurant. While Blockhead and Rickshaw Thai have taken a back seat, Fluff has remained a growing business. Jess Kopelwitz calls the restaurant her “first baby,” so she doesn’t want to see the business fall into the wrong hands.

“My hope for this place is…(a new owner) that keeps making it better,” Kopelwitz said. “I’m not going to hand it over to someone who, even if they have the money, can’t handle it.”

The business was the first for the Kopelwitzes, after they moved to Athens and Jason Kopelwitz began working with Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery. Fluff has had a focus on local foods and business partnerships since Jess Kopelwitz started baking in her sister’s kitchen and working with King Family Farms, Green Edge Organic Gardens and Shade River Farms. Now the cookies can be found in Bagel Street, O’Betty’s and Jackie O’s restaurants.

When Jackie O’s was shut down by fire in late 2014, Fluff took on some of the displaced workers as well.

The business is being sold with the current lease and a future lease option, the kitchen equipment, furnishings, small wares, menu and the help of the Kopelwitzes in reopening the business under new management. The liquor license Fluff recently obtained won’t be coming with the business, but the Kopelwitzes might keep the license for future use.

Jess Kopelwitz said she has always looked for people that want to make themselves better workers and learn more about the business. The employees have been the builders of the business, and the ones that made it what it is now, she said. She only hopes that continues if the business sells.

“I can leave my mark on it, but what if someone else can take this farther,” she said.

The plan is for the listing of the restaurant to continue through late summer. Jess Kopelwitz said a decision would be made about the future of the business at that time.

West Side Wingery, the newest operation by the Kopelwitzes which serves wings and tacos on Shafer Street, will remain a separate business and is not part of the sale.