A selection of challah bread at Wealthy Street Bakery. Photo via fb.com
Neighborhood revitalization in the form of steaming oven-baked bread is coming to Hall Street.
Wealthy Street Bakery, a celebrated local bakery housed at 606 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, has what will essentially be another Wealthy Street Bakery in the oven.
WSB is getting ready for its first addition to the family by renovating the space at 1200 Hall St. SE in Grand Rapids, with plans to put another bakery in the ground floor and two apartments upstairs.
The building cost about $110,000, and will probably cost another $7,000 in renovations, said WSB co-owner David LaGrand, managing partner at LaGrand and Lowery Law Office. The team already has signed with an architect, he said, and plans to completely transform the 3,600-square-foot downstairs space and the two 1,200-square-foot units upstairs into a zero carbon footprint space, even including a solar panel roof.
LaGrand expects the new bakery to be open by this fall, with hours running 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Parking will be available just down the street at Fuller Avenue Christian Reformed Church, he said.
The Hall Street location is perfect for neighborhood residents and even future staff to walk to, LaGrand said. It is designed as “the third place,” or a community hub.
“There’s this funny antiquated zoning idea that everybody in America drives a car. When they do zoning … they assume all customers will drive. That is not the case for our location,” he said. “Seventy percent of our employees walk or bike, which means we don’t need to reserve parking. Three of our current Wealthy employees could probably walk to the Hall Street location.”
Although a name hasn’t been decided on yet, LaGrand, who insisted the WSB owners have no intention of franchising, wants to call it Hall Street Bakery as a nod to the neighborhood it hopes to revitalize.
“Our first location has done everything we could have hoped for and more. We’re trying to be the best bakery in Grand Rapids and a community hub,” he said.
“The neighborhood in Hall and Fuller looks a lot like what Wealthy Street looked like when we (first) invested there… When we invested in Wealthy, there had already been a long period of disinvestment. For the Hall and Fuller neighborhood, it’s time to turn a corner after a long (period of) slow disinvestment, (which) means the neighborhood is underserved… We hope to serve our customer base there.”