Tecumseh Bread & Pastry returns to business with two sales locations

By: 
JACKIE KOCH

Arlo Brandl prepares pastries at his in-home kitchen. Photo by Jackie Koch.

Sometimes good things come to those who plan, and wait, and work, and collaborate. In the case of Tecumseh Bread & Pastry, these things first led to bakers Arlo and Alisyn Brandl sharing the space on North Evans Street where 3 Dudes and Dinner prepared their meals, in early 2016. After a hiatus that started last October, Tecumseh Bread & Pastry is once again in business as the provider of baked goods for the Musgrove & Company coffee shop downtown, will sell products at the Market on Evans, and offers a Community Supported Bakery (CSB) program that has already filled its spring and summer list of customers. 

Arlo said the bakery had tripled its production just four or five months from opening due to the popularity of the croissants, breads, pastries and other baked goods he and Alisyn created, and due to their growth as well as the growth of 3 Dudes and Dinner, the couple needed to move their location. “It kept growing, and growing, and growing,” Arlo said. “At that point we needed to find a new spot, because we’d gotten so big and 3 Dudes was also very busy. That’s when we started to look, but we were coming up empty-handed for a place downtown that wasn’t going to cost over a half a million with renovations. That’s a hard number to swallow when you make cookies for a living.”

So the Brandls took some time off to reevaluate. “I had been professionally baking for 10 years, and so I talked with a lot of my old friends about what they were doing, and they kind of came up with the idea of ‘Why not just go smaller and focus on the quality of the product?’” said Arlo. With quality instead of quantity in mind, they started the process of building a professional bakery in a portion of their Tecumseh home, which benefitted from his foresight of saving for his own bakery and buying equipment starting in his early 20s. The new facility finally received licensure from the Michigan Department of Agriculture on April 30. The community didn’t forget about the bakery while it was on hiatus. “I’ve had people counting down,” he said.

The collaboration with Joshua Roth, owner of Musgrove & Company, began months ago when Roth was thinking about opening a coffee shop and, as a frequent customer of Tecumseh Bread & Pastry, had conversations with Arlo about the ways their two businesses could compliment each other. On Tuesday, May 8, Arlo made his first delivery of baked goods to the coffee shop. There are future plans to offer an array of bread for sale there, as well.

Alisyn, a pastry chef, was involved in the bakery originally, but now her position as the box office manager of Adrian’s Croswell Opera House means that Arlo will do most of the baking. “We are going to feature all of our from scratch, laminated pastries - our croissants, our chocolate croissants, savory ones, sweet ones. A lot of them will feature Michigan organic grains, which we mill in the bakery,” he said. “Our granola bars, which were always a favorite, will be available, as well as our breakfast cookie, muffins, and scones. The big thing will be the croissants.” A laminated pastry describes a croissant, for its layers of butter and dough.

The concept of a Community Supported Bakery (CSB) is modeled after Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), where individuals pay a certain amount in advance to help cover the anticipated costs of a farm operation, and in return they receive an agreed-upon amount of produce from the farm each week throughout the growing season. With the CSB, Tecumseh Bread & Pastry customers who sign up pay for an eight-week supply of a variety of bread and pastries, which they pick up once each week. The Brandls have a large garden and use their home-grown herbs to utilize seasonal ingredients.

The bakery will have a presence in one of the permanent retail sheds at The Market on Evans, Tecumseh’s Saturday morning farmers market, as well, starting on May 19, and Arlo said he would like to expand that presence to three days per week.

“I’ve always wanted to own my own bakery,” he said. “It feels really good to have done it in a manageable, sustainable way, and now it’s extremely efficient because I’ve designed the bakery to be exactly what I wanted. It feels really good when I’m in there, and I feel like I’m turning out a lot better product than I’ve ever turned out before.” 

For more information on Tecumseh Bread & Pastry, visit tecumsehbake.weebly.com, or tecumseh_bread_bakery on Instagram.

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Tecumseh Herald

 

110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286
517-423-2174
800-832-6443

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