To people in the Louisville community, Andy Clark was not just the owner of Moxie Bread Co. He was a friend, a collaborator, and someone others could count on during difficult times.
In the days that followed Clark’s sudden death on Nov. 7, friends of Clark have come forward and paid tribute to a man who they said worked tirelessly to help others.
Caleb Dickinson, a Louisville city councilmember and owner of a property management company, met Clark while organizing live music events in town about six years ago. They became acquainted through business, but Dickinson said they rarely talked shop, even though Clark’s bakery was famous and drew clients from around the state.
“We’d get together and talk about things all the time,” Dickinson said. “Almost never did we talk about (our businesses). We were just always more interested in people and community and what we were doing with each other and for each other.”
Dickinson said he and Clark became even closer friends as they worked to support the community through dire straits. During the pandemic, Dickinson said, Clark was making full meals for customers to pick up, and he quickly applied for a loan so he could continue paying his employees.
“You knew he was going to take care of his people,” said Dickinson. “You knew somehow he was going to keep going and take care of his employees.”
And in the wake of the Marshall Fire, Clark’s first thought was not about how his business might be affected, but about how he could help others.
“He’s just one of those people who was like, the day after the fire, he was thinking about … the community,” said Dickinson. “He’s just in there trying to figure out, OK, what role does Moxie play and Andy play in helping the community after the fire? He was always thinking about everyone else.”
But beneath all of Clark’s efforts, Dickinson said, the bakery owner may have struggled more than he let on.
“He was seemingly incredibly successful. I have this word for our downtown business owners … and it’s ‘survibrant,’” Dickinson said. “I think Andy was working his butt off and investing a ton of money to create a vibrant community.”
At a small memorial service organized by Louisville business owners Thursday morning, Dickinson said, one person brought up the image of the Giving Tree, in reference to the classic children’s story by Shel Silverstein.
“This idea of giving and giving and giving of yourself until you have nothing left … I see Andy as that tree,” said Dickinson. “And he just … he gave it all away.”
Clark is survived by his wife, Phillippa, and three children. Details about a memorial service have not been publicly announced yet, but Elizabeth Ryterski, a friend of the Clarks, has organized a GoFundMe on behalf of the Clark family. The fundraiser can be found, and donations can be made, at https://www.gofundme.com/f/b6eku6-andys-family.
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