Bakery rises for opening
If a new bakery’s first day is any kind of forecast for its future, then it can expect a long stretch of bright days ahead.
Hall Street Bakery in Grand Rapids, a somewhat sister bakery to Wealthy Street Bakery, hosted its grand opening last Saturday and was greeted with an “overwhelming” turnout, said David LaGrand, co-owner of both bakeries and managing partner at LaGrand and Lowery Law Office.
Hall Street Bakery, located in a renovated 3,600 square foot, mixed-use space at 1200 Hall St. SE, was packed all day Saturday from open to close, with some people driving more than an hour for the opening, LaGrand said.
LaGrand and the other co-owners purchased the space for $110,000, with plans to renovate the 3,600-square-foot downstairs space into a bakery and the two 1,200-square-foot units upstairs into two residential units. The two residential units are near completion.
Hall Street Bakery features a straightforward menu: baked goods, pizzas, meats, gluten-free options, wine and Michigan craft beer, including Founders, Bell’s, Brewery Vivant and New Holland. The bakery is also looking to add more taps.
LaGrand credits the community support of his new bakery to two main reasons: the need for community and neighborhood revitalization.
“A lot of people built their lives around their community and are excited for a community hub,” LaGrand said. “That’s been going on at Wealthy Street, and it was going on all day long at Hall. Neighbors were sitting down with neighbors. A business like us can’t survive unless it’s owned by the community.
“The other reason is that it’s a service desert. There’s a big circle around that area that does not have a good community meeting hub. One of the fun things for me to see that Saturday morning, I could see people walking in from blocks away. We immediately created this pedestrian nexus — and that’s in the worst winter we’ve ever had.”
Wealthy Street connection
LaGrand said both Hall Street Bakery and Wealthy Street Bakery raked in dough on Saturday.
“It was obvious to us that people were not coming there instead of going to Wealthy Street, because we also had a great day at Wealthy Street,” LaGrand said. “We’re excited to be in the neighborhood. We’re really committed to it and making it work like a well-oiled machine.”