Popular retail and wholesale baked goods will be offered at a new location.
A retail store at the Mackenzies Bakery relocating to downtown Vicksburg, according to early announcements, was to follow construction and opening of a wholesale bakery. In a new announcement, both will open at the 103 E. Prairie location in the spring.
Construction has started on the new bakery. Crews from general contractor Frederick Construction are renovating the interior of the 1,700-square-foot space to accommodate a production kitchen as well as the small retail storefront. When it opens, the new iteration of the former Kalamazoo bakery will offer both retail and wholesale items, including many original bread recipes.
At the walk-in store, patrons can pick up fresh-baked breads, including the popular Pretzel, Struan, Crispy Italian and Paesano blends and a small selection of cookies, muffins and beverages.
“My hope is that a visit to Mackenzies Bakery will kindle memories from childhood, with eyes locked on the tempting goodies behind the case, while creating generations worth of new memories for residents and visitors to enjoy an elevated retail experience in my thriving hometown,” said owner and Vicksburg native, Chris Moore. “I’m excited to bring this memory-making experience to downtown Vicksburg.”
Moore, who also owns The Mill at Vicksburg, grew up enjoying MacKenzie’s baked goods and jumped at the chance to revitalize the brand and bring more business to the Vicksburg area.
Construction signage showing renderings of the interior are being installed over the windows to give patrons a glimpse of the retail experience within. The renovation of the space, which includes two adjoining buildings, is part of Moore’s vision to create a thriving Vicksburg and surrounding areas.
To ensure continuity through the transition, Moore engaged former owner John MacKenzie as a consultant and hired two longtime MacKenzie’s employees to handle daily operations – Production Manager Jill Younger and Head Baker Cris Najar.
“I couldn’t be happier with seeing the MacKenzie’s brand live on the way it will in Vicksburg,” said MacKenzie. “Chris Moore and his team are absolutely committed to doing things in top-notch fashion, so I can’t wait to see what the next iteration does for the region.”
While the physical building takes shape, Mackenzies’ leaders are hard at work revitalizing recipes, establishing sales channels, determining price points and preparing to distribute the products throughout the region.
“We’re very excited to bring Mackenzies bread into stores and dining establishments across southwest Michigan,” said Jackie Koney, chief operating officer of Paper City Development, Moore’s Vicksburg-based company. “Cris and Jill are hard at work preparing to offer large-scale bread production for wholesale.”
Younger, a Portage resident, began her career at MacKenzie’s Bakery in 2000 at the retail counter, learning the importance of taking care of customers. She is thrilled to continue the MacKenzie’s legacy and welcome a brand-new community of bakery enthusiasts.
“My goals are very clear – to deliver on our brand promise to provide an elevated retail experience featuring high-quality, artisanal baked goods in an inviting space,” said Younger. “Whether people interact with our brand in person, online or in a store, they’ll enjoy great service and delicious baked goods that will keep them coming back for more!”
Najar, a resident of Kalamazoo, is a skilled baker with a passion for incorporating art into pastry-making. He started his career in the culinary industry, working at a variety of restaurants in his hometown of Chicago before making the switch to baking—a practice he fell in love with.
“I am thrilled to return to the kitchen and continue the tradition of creating MacKenzie’s bread and treats,” said Najar. “I can’t wait to engage with patrons and share our high-quality, seasonal offerings in an environment that will rival major culinary venues!”
Mackenzies Vicksburg expects to share more information soon on its website, http://www.mackenziesbakery.com, about opening dates and specific product offerings.