Last updated: May 05. 2014 10:36AM - 324 Views

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From the time one begins her/his working career, retirement is on one’s mind. In fact, most people start planning their retirement at an early age. I find it interesting that those plans often change dramatically as each person is compelled to deal with issues, many from choices they made.

Family dynamics, as well as health issues, can also affect one’s retirement. But, and this is important for everybody to understand, retirement is not for everyone. Consider this thought: “I believe retirement is a personal choice for each and every person, a time to do what you always wanted to do!”

Such is the person we are going to examine in this article. Many of you already know Andy Shipley Hawkins, but for those who do not, here is the rest of the story.

As a child, who does not have fond memories of the people who shared their early lives? Many of us fondly recall the influence our elders had on us, often the grandparents. Such is the case for Andy. She believes her fondness of baking came from those people in her early childhood days.

Growing up, she aspired to do something others around her could not do very well, and baking bread seemed to be the one thing that others in her circle of influence struggled to complete. Most of us can identify with this next part of Andy’s life. As she grew up she got involved in other points of interest, i.e. schoolwork, grades, high school, college, and oh yes, boys.

She met and married Mike Hawkins and together they raised two children, Heather and Quentin. Andy also had her daytime job at Newberry County Memorial Hospital. She was their PR Marketing Director and as the years seemed to fly by, soon the subject of retirement actually started to unfold.

What was she going to do? She was much too young to retire. She surely must do something. She had always loved writing and storytelling but, no, there must be something else? It was Mike who suggested considering her original love, baking bread and other goodies.

One of Andy’s friends, Sue Summer, interviewed Alma Staub, the last owner of Newberry’s famous “Johnny’s Doughnuts” recipe. Mrs. Staub had given the recipe to Sue to share with the community. Andy then worked with Sue to translate the large recipe and make the donuts for the article that appeared in Newberry magazine. After several experiments, Andy and Mike successfully began reproducing the doughnut many Newberry County residents had been seeking for years.

Success stories normally require the assistance of many people, and other than those previously mentioned in this article, Andy also credits people like Penny Burke, who owned The Blend of Art and Coffee in Prosperity at the time and shared her kitchen for Andy’s venture, as well as the mayor of Prosperity, Derek Underwood, who helped guide her through the legal procedures to operate a food business.

So, when retirement day came for Andy in 2012, she never missed a beat. She began baking breads and producing those famous “Johnny’s Doughnuts!”

She is busier than ever baking Thursday through Saturday and business is constantly growing. She even bakes bread for several local restaurants. So, this week why not visit The Blend in Prosperity to sample Andy’s breads. Should you go early on Saturday morning, try one of those wonderful doughnuts. Chances are, if you remember how Johnny’s doughnuts tasted back in the day, you will agree Andy and Mike got it right! “Loafin with Andy,” the name of her business, simply means that Andy is loving her retirement.

Who knows what adventure you might take when it is time for your retirement. Hopefully it will be exactly what you have always envisioned.

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