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Campbell’s Gourmet Cottage, in Louisville, KY has re-opened as Cooking At The Cottage under new ownership. The store closed September 1, 2010, three months after its previous owner Susan Lukjan was sentenced to 12 years in prison for arson associated with a previous Gourmet Cottage location.
Lukjan, who consistently maintained her innocence throughout the trial and is currently seeking an appeal of her conviction according to local news reports, was charged with setting fire to Campbell's Gourmet Cottage’s Sherring Avenue location in August, 2006.
Lukjan’s family and friends, including new storeowner Linda Bayens, have consistently maintained Lukjan’s innocence. A message on the GourmetCottage.com website states: “The combined effects of a weak economy with reduced consumer spending and the inappropriate and unfortunate conviction and incarceration of Susan Lukjan have resulted in our making this decision [to close the store]. With Susan unable to continue to lead the business, we are taking this action as of September 1, 2010.
“The fire of August 19, 2006 and the lack of insurance compensation have resulted in our inability to provide the merchandise selection needed to make this location financially viable. In addition, no evidence was ever presented in Susan’s court case that established the cause of the fire nor any connection to any action by Susan. The incarceration of Susan should be considered by this community to be totally unacceptable.”
Bayens took over the remaining assets of the closed business in September and told Gourmet Insider® she looks forward to reviving the community gourmet store.