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Positively LEX 18: East End bakery paying it forward

Posted at 5:00 AM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 19:44:56-05

After hearing viewers' calls for more positive news content, LEX 18 is launching a new series called 'Positively LEX 18.' These are inspirational stories of real people doing good things and trying to make a difference, and uplifting tales of positive things happening to those who need help.

One would expect to find something sweet at Martine's Pastries in Lexington, but the bakery on the city's East End is doubling down — not only baking up delicious treats but serving the community at the same time.

"I was born in a small village in France, so community was everything — just helping each other, " said Martine Holzman, owner of Martine's Pastries.

The bakery moved to the location at the corner of Eastern Avenue and Third Street about three years ago and the Holzmans knew from the jump that they wanted to be an active part of the East End neighborhood. This thrilled the vice president of the William Wells Brown Neighborhood Association, Vivian Mason.

"We were tickled pink because they have always been great supporters and great community partners," Mason said.

Pre-pandemic, Martine and her husband Jim were true to their word. They took part in the neighborhood association's monthly effort of donating and creating packs of food for kids to take home over the weekend. Due to the pandemic, those meetings were no longer an option, however, they were still determined to find a way to help.

"I just love that they thought of something creative that everyone can do," Mason said.

So, they added a pay-it-forward concept to their business. Anyone who walks into Martine's can add a donation on to their bill or simply donate. Every cent goes to helping kids in the neighborhood who rely on this extra food, especially in a time when so many families are hurting.

"It started slow at first because these things start slow, so the first time I think we did 13 packs, 42 and I believe we just totaled it up we did 67 care packs for the kids," Holzman said.

"It takes a village. We know that in order to prosper, that the East End is what we desire, it takes everyone doing their part," Mason added.

Through posts on Facebook and generous customers, they are hopeful the donations will only continue to grow. They say the pay-it-forward option is here to stay, pandemic or not.

"It's just a warm feeling that we can have a small impact, but on our small little level it helps us have a purpose," Martine Holzman said.

Doing good where they are planted. Supporting one neighbor at a time.

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