Wealthy Street Bakery to open new location

The popular Wealthy Street Bakery, a fixture of the Wealthy Street community, has plans to open a new location in the Ottawa Hills/Boston Square neighborhood. The owners of Wealthy Street Bakery, David and Melissa LaGrand and Barb and Jim McClurg, hope that the new bakery could serve the same sort of role in the community that Wealthy Street Bakery has served, helping to bring the community together and encourage other local businesses.

The owners have already purchased a property at 1200 Hall Street, the former location of Reflections Full Service salon, for $110,000 at a bank foreclosure auction, owner David LaGrand told MLive. The two-story property also comes with two second-story apartments that the owners hope to renovate and rent out.

The goal for the bakery is for it to serve as a community meeting place and central point around which a thriving neighborhood could grow. David LaGrand told MLive that his family once owned a house in the area, which in recent years has experienced high crime rates and a poor business environment.

“We’re really trying to be a catalyst,” LaGrand said of the neighborhood. “People live in cities because they want community. We hope to have exactly that kind of role in the community.”

The new restaurant would look quite similar to Wealthy Street Bakery, an artisan bakery, and would likely feature many of the same products such as homemade breads, pastries, sandwiches, pizza, tea and coffee. The building itself is larger than the Wealthy Street location, with plans for an inside seating area for 48 people and seating for an additional 23 people outside. The location is the only commercial site in a wide area, and would employ an estimated 25 to 40 people, who would hopefully be hired from the community.

“The bakery really helped kick off some development on Wealthy Street years ago, and we’re hoping this will stimulate some investments in the neighborhood.”

The bakery, which doesn’t yet have a name, will hopefully involve about $600,000 in renovations and remodeling to the store and street front. The owners are also working with the city to try and reduce the amount of parking spaces and obtain a permit for the sale of beer and wine, which would presumably coincide with serving pizza for dinner in the evening.

There is still a large amount of paperwork to and many meetings to be completed before the bakery will officially be ready to go. LaGrand warns that it could be as much as a year before the bakery will actually be ready to open. The owners met with neighbors from the area on Feb. 10 to discuss plans, and a meeting with the Board of Zoning Appeals in the next week will be the first step toward the new bakery opening its doors.