TECUMSEH — A local couple has worked hard to move their business to the next stage in its development and may see the fruits of their labor come to pass this summer.
Certified artisan bread baker Arlo Brandl and his wife, Alisyn, have been operating Tecumseh Bread & Pastry since 2016. They secured their first permanent bakery at 115 S. Evans in 2018 and with the help of a $25,000 small business grant from the state will be moving into a larger space at 118 W. Chicago Blvd.
The couple is selling their home to make the more than $400,000 renovation project happen. The $25,000 is a welcome contribution, Arlo said.
“By investing in our downtowns, we can help improve the local economy and the quality of life for everyone in the area families,” state Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Onsted, said of the grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “The Match on Main Street Program focuses on helping small businesses in Main Street districts across the state thrive and grow.
“This targeted funding will help Tecumseh Bread and Pastry make important improvements and help Tecumseh create a better downtown that attracts new opportunities and talent. I applaud everyone for their work to earn this grant and support this small business investment.”
The couple bought the historical building on Chicago Boulevard in August 2020 and continued to lease it to a cabinet shop that rented it for a time. They started construction in January.
“I would say it’s three to four times the size of what we have right now and it’s right on the boulevard so we’re pretty excited about that,” Arlo said. “We’ve been trying to secure a location since we started our business in 2016 and I don’t think there’s ever a perfect time, but we managed to get a building, so we started.”
Arlo was 30 years old when they opened the bakery on Evans Street in 2018 and had been working as a baker for more than a decade at that time.
The couple owns its own equipment at this point, but the new location is a challenge. There’s not much that doesn’t have to be done.
“We have to redo pretty much all the electric, all the plumbing, all the floors. We need to fireproof the walls. We need to redo and resupport the entire roof system. We need to redo the whole HVAC system. We need to re-support the basement, We need to patch the brick, paint the brick and pretty much everything from the ground up has to be redone,” Arlo said. “We’ve owned all of our own equipment for a while because we’ve been working toward this project. So it’s more about all this money going toward the revitalization and conversion of a historic building downtown to make it renovated and up to code to meet our needs.”
The couple has been scrimping, working and saving for years now. They have had this goal in mind the whole way through their small business journey.
“There’s been quite a bit of work going into this. My wife and I knew what we wanted and had a goal in mind, so we just have been working toward that the whole time,” Arlo said. “We’re just very excited and looking forward to this. It’s been a long time in the making, and anything is helpful and we’re very appreciative for it.”
This article originally appeared on The Daily Telegram: Tecumseh Bread & Pastry owners’ small business dream materializing