In the midst of Normaltown bakery Ike & Jane’s transition from a bustling store — with customers lined up at the door awaiting their opening at 8 a.m. on a Georgia football Saturday — to a closed, long-gone Athens business, the Ike & Jane brand will live on.
Ike & Jane is releasing a cookbook this week, with some of the restaurant's “staple” recipes for customers to make at home. Corie Jacobs, owner of Ike & Jane, said that she and her team converted the store’s large-scale, in-store recipes for the every-day, at-home baker.
“Secret Handshakes,” the book's title, is expected to be available on Wednesday, Nov. 27. People who have placed pre-orders can pick up their copy in-store for $20, and other interested customers can purchase the book for $25. While the restaurant is expected to be closed for good after this Wednesday, people who miss the chance to purchase the book in-store are still in luck: Treehouse of Athens and both Avid Bookshop locations will carry the compilation of recipes after Ike & Jane’s closure.
The release of the cookbook coincides with Ike & Jane’s closure. After the announcement, Jacobs said that customers kept expressing how much they would miss the restaurant’s dishes, ranging from its doughnuts to its chicken salad sandwiches.
“I told them, ‘you can make these things at home,’” Jacobs said. “After that, we just decided to put a cookbook together.”
Jacobs said the entire process to get a physical copy of a cookbook took a week: she and her team had the idea, and a week later it went to print. This was made possible in part because of Ike & Jane’s collaboration with Chispa House, an Athens production company. Chispa works with businesses and brands to find their “spark of humanity.” After some people from the Ike & Jane team heard about Jacobs’ cookbook idea, Chispa decided to lend a helping hand.
“[Corie] joked about how she was going to staple a Google Doc together to make this cookbook,” Ariel Levy, graphic and video producer at Chispa House, said. So, collaborators at Chispa decided to help her out.
Levy has worked on the design and layout of the cookbook, while videographers have made a handful of short, cooking show-esque videos to accompany the recipes. These short videos — highlighting some of the Ike & Jane favorite recipes — will be available on Instagram in early December.
As an employee of another Normaltown business, Levy was surprised when she heard about the news of Ike & Jane’s closure.
“I literally checked my calendar to make sure it wasn’t April,” Levy said. “I thought it was an April Fools’ joke.”
Ike & Jane announced its closure on Instagram in early November. The announcement and sudden decision to close was “not what [she or the staff] wanted,” Jacobs said in an earlier interview with The Red & Black.
While Jacobs would not confirm the reason for the store’s closure, the co-owner of the building Ike & Jane resides in said the bakery was closing due to an impending “significant” rent increase.
Since the announcement, the store has been selling out of doughnuts and baked goods earlier in the day, according to Jacobs. Ike & Jane has had to increase their numbers in order to meet demands.
Despite the mixed bag of feelings that comes along with the closure, Jacobs is “really excited” about the release of the cookbook. Levy described her feelings about the cookbook, and the continuation of the Ike & Jane brand, as “bittersweet” — as sweet as an Ike & Jane doughnut.