Granger bakery opens with a focus on local ingredients

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By: Kate Stoltzfus
kstoltzfus@elkharttruth.com

If Marianne Christy had to choose a favorite of her homemade pies, it would be the lemon chess pie. Or the rhubarb custard. But there’s also her coconut cream, German chocolate and strawberry, peach and blueberry pies, made with local fruit.

“They’re some of the best pies around,” Christy said. So she decided to sell them.

Christy is owner and chief baker of Local Foods Bakery & Café, 12435 Adams Road at Bittersweet Centre in Granger. The bakery opened in March, but Christy’s baked goods have been available at places like Purple Porch Food Co-op, Niles Culinary Incubator and Granger Farmers Market since 2007. A “brick and mortar building was the next step in the ladder,” Christy said.

The bakery may be relatively new, but Christy started baking when she was five years old.

“I love to eat good food, and sometimes you just can’t find what you want, so you have to make it yourself,” Christy said. “I’ve been baking for over 51 years, and everyone always told me I needed to sell what I made.”

It wasn’t until 2004 that Christy quit her corporate job and set out to bake for a living. Now, after years of “getting everything worked out,” Local Foods Bakery is a reality.

“I thought people should be able to eat what I make right out of the oven,” she said. “People should be able to smell what I’m baking.”

There are pies, cakes, muffins, sourdough and ciabatta breads, and chocolate chip, lemon and snickerdoodle cookies, among many other goods. The bakery also serves soups, sandwiches such as hamburgers and grilled cheese, a breakfast sandwich called the omelet roll, and drinks such as coffee and homemade lemonade. Most items are $3 to $5 — and a whole pie is $15.

All of the bakery’s food is made with local, organic, non-chemical ingredients, with attention to reducing waste. Christy and her husband, Mike, who helps run the café, buy local eggs, milk and fruit, use recycled products, and “looks for people who are supporting their local economies if we have to buy non-local,” Christy said. “There’s even a man down the street who takes our daily food scraps for his chickens. It’s all about the future.”

As such, Christy decided “local” had to be in the business name. “We used to be known as Christy’s Bakery and Produce,” she said. “But the word ‘local’ kept reverberating.”

Local Foods Bakery & Café will hold a grand opening to celebrate completed renovations on Friday, June 27 and Saturday, June 28, with free lemonade and cookies for visitors. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

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