MUNCIE — The owners of a Muncie chocolate shop are getting a big boost from the community to make it to the other side of the coronavirus pandemic. And it's not just because of their sweet treats.
"Queer Chocolatier" has become a Muncie staple in the few years its been open. Like a lot of businesses, the pandemic had the owners thinking they may have to close.
At the beginning of this week, Morgan Roddy was scrambling, trying to figure out how to keep the Queer Chocolatier open.
"I really need to come up with an emergency plan. I need to find out how I'm going to make my rent," Roddy, owner of Queer Chocolatier, said. "Do I need to find a job to pay the rent because I don't have the business to pay the rent."
She never imagined the note she wrote about the hard decisions she and her wife Cheri were facing would lead to the community stepping up to keep their place open.
"One minute, I'm crying because I think the business is about to be done and I'm still ready to cry but for a good reason, right?" Roddy said.
But if it was up to her, this might not have happened.
"You know, it's kind of hard to be a business and ask for fundraising. It doesn't feel quite right in some ways," Roddy said.
That's when a regular customer of theirs got involved.
"Daniel reached out, and he was like, 'I wanna do my best to help support your business,'" Roddy explained.
"It's something I definitely never expected," Daniel Todd, who started a GoFundMe for Queer Chocolatier, said. "When I started, I know Queer Chocolatier meant something to me and my friends, but I never expected it to raise as much as it did within 24 hours."
The GoFundMe page Todd started has raised more than $9,000 in just two days. And the number keeps going up.
But it's not just the chocolate that supporters are trying to save; Queer Chocolatier is a space that allows LGBTQ folks to gather and thrive.
They don't serve alcohol either, which means people of all ages are welcome.
"Having queer sober spaces is something that's super important, and really, where we live, Queer Chocolatier is one of the only spaces that we have," Todd said.
"They should be able to still access a community where they're still authentically themselves without having to wait to turn 21 to go to a gay bar," Todd continued.
Thanks to the outpouring of support, it's looking like Queer Chocolatier will serve Muncie and the surrounding communities for quite some time.
"It's a really great space for people to feel comfortable, get to know each other.. they get to know me. I get to know them," Roddy said.
Roddy said with the GoFundMe and online orders coming in they're right around the $15,000 mark. She's pretty positive they'll be able to get through the next several months.