Category: Community Published on Thursday, 15 November 2012 08:18 Written by Michigan Chronicle
DETROIT, NOVEMBER 14, 2012 â€“ Avalon International Breads is nearing completion of a $2.2 million economic growth project that will ultimately mean more jobs and a much-needed boost for the economy of Detroit.
Construction on what will be called Avalon City Ovens is well underway in a semi-vacant industrial neighborhood on Detroitâ€™s East side. An old, dilapidated 50,000 square foot warehouse is now bustling with construction activity - promising a renaissance to the area near the abandoned Packard plant.
Workers are busy erecting walls, painting ceilings and installing utilities. A large artisan deck oven, recently shipped from Italy, is being carefully built by one of a kind journeymen. The new craft bake house will soon produce Avalonâ€™s trademark baked goods, loved by Detroiters and Avalon enthusiasts throughout the region.
â€śAvalon City Ovensâ€ť will service the artisan bakeryâ€™s growing wholesale and retail customers. â€śIn July of 2012, we opened our second retail storefront - the â€śEat Well, Do Goodâ€ť cafe inside Henry Ford Hospitalâ€™s West Grand Blvd. facility,â€ť said Ann Perrault, co-founder of Avalon International Breads. â€śThe quick success of this store and growing demand for Avalon products in suburban Detroit and Ann Arbor has prompted our expansion. We have supported Detroit since 1997 and weâ€™re thrilled to continue our growth right here in the heart of the city.â€ť
The renovation at 6555 East Forrest (at Bellevue) is the first phase of Avalonâ€™s long-awaited expansion plans and just one piece of a $2.2 million expansion project, funded by a loan that closed in early October. Weathering the
2008 recession, the foreclosure and banking crisis and political upheaval in Detroit, the loan is a major accomplishment not only for Detroitâ€™s favorite bakery, but also for the public and private partners in the project.
â€śThe Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) under Mike Finney wanted to jump start economic growth and support businesses dedicated to employing people, particularly from urban communities,â€ť said Don Snider, senior vice president, Urban Economic Development for MEDC.â€ś Avalon is a great example of how our collaborative resources with local partners can lead to growth that benefits all of metropolitan Detroit. In addition to support from MEDC, Avalonâ€™s other partners in the loan include Invest Detroit, Whole Foods, the Small Business Administration and Main Street Bank.
â€śOur phenomenal expansion into grocery stores, restaurants, cafes and new retail outlets has far exceeded the capacity of our original 2,000 square foot production and retail flagship store on Willis,â€ť added Perrault. â€śAs the city of Detroit continues its renaissance, Avalon has the unique opportunity to provide a state of the art manufacturing facility for baked goods and create much-needed jobs for the area,â€ť
Avalon City Ovens will continue to concentrate on artisan-prepared baked goods and organic products while staying true to its motto of, â€śEat Well, Do Good.â€ť They have successfully grown the business through award-winning artisan baked goods and a commitment to re-spirit Detroit through its three bottom lines: earth, community and employees.
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the Michigan Chronicle Digital Daily newsletter!