KEYSTONE — A new place for breakfast and lunch, cakes and cookies, and wine and beer will soon be opening in downtown Keystone. And in an indirect way, its opening is courtesy of the August 2020 derecho.

Kassie Mather hopes to opening Main Street Bakery and Cafe by the end of January or early February. Mather has been a decorator for a dozen years, including 10 years as the head decorator at a Cedar Rapids grocery store before leaving last year.

“I have been doing cakes out of my house for a year,” she said, “but that wasn’t working for me, and we decided to take this step.”

Enter the derecho.

The former Iowa Cricket Farm in Keystone sustained heavy damage from the August storm of 2020 to the point that the owners did not want to do much else with it.

“They held a contest,” Mather said, “for the best new business idea for Keystone. The winner could buy the building for $2,000. We won with our idea.”

But there was a lot to do to get the place ready.

“We gutted the place down the bricks,” Mather added. “We put in new windows, everything. The place was a rough shape after the storm, but we’ve managed to put it back together.”

Main Street Bakery and Cafe not only offer Kassie’s beautiful cakes and cookies, but will also be a place to grab both breakfast and lunch.

“We’re going to have gourmet sandwiches; paninis, wraps, things like that,” Mather said. “Everything will be fresh; artisan breads, and we’ll slice the meat fresh right in front of you. There won’t be a frier in the place!”

Mather added that the cafe will also offer homemade soups, along with breakfast.

“We’ll have two different kinds of breakfast casserole, sandwiches, bagels, pastries, and a full service coffee bar.”

In addition, there will be beer and wine available for both dine-in and carry-out.

“We’re going to have an All-Iowa Bloody Mary,” Mather said. “All of the ingredients are local.”

Hopes had been to open by Halloween, but supply chain issues have held things up.

“It’s happened to a lot of small businesses,” Mather said. “It’s been stressful, but we’re just about ready.”

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