Baker on the Square - Day 9
Deluxe baked goods with small town flare
Rich Shafer, and his wife, Amy, had always dreamed of having their own classic mom-and-pop-style bakery. This year, that dream became a reality when they opened Baker on the Square, a premium Milan bakery located in the heart of the town, the historic square. Rich does the majority of the baking for the company while Amy handles the financial side. Amy, whom Rich calls his CFO, also works full time for Huron City Schools. Rich, a Milan native, has been baking since childhood. He cherishes a memory of baking a Sock It To Me Cake with his grandmother. You might be surprised to hear, though, that Rich did not immediately make baking his full-time career once he reached adulthood. He had spent a year as an assistant draftsman for the Salvation Army in New York, 19 years in the automotive industry, and most recently was in HR management. He soon realized that was not his passion and decided to pursue his dream. Rich joked, “When you get frustrated, you open a bakery!”
Baker on the Square was over a $200,000 investment
They made 2,000 cookies for a Summit Motorsports event
The bakery gets about 280 customers per week
The building Baker on the Square calls home was originally purchased by Rich and Amy as an investment property, but they quickly learned it was the perfect place for their company as the Milan square has a historic charm that would wonderfully compliment their bakery’s style. Rich and Amy also knew the local community was exactly who they wanted to serve. “We have had an overwhelming response and welcome from the community and surrounding area since we opened in March,” said Rich. “We are very thankful for the continuous growth in just less than one year.” Baker on the Square is growing. The company now employs four people when in March, they employed just one. Rich anticipates significant growth in the future with plans to revamp the company’s website to allow for online ordering, to add to the wholesale side of the business, and to employ more kitchen staff.
The bakery sells a wide range of treats from donuts, cookies, and pastries to breads and bagels. Among some of the most popular items are their cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, cheesecakes, and sourdough or honey wheat bread. Since opening the doors, Rich estimates he has sold over 60 different recipes, some most notable and specialty being a red velvet cheesecake cake or a brown sugar salted caramel cheesecake.
Rich would like to recognize Erie County Economic Development Corporation and the RISE program. The RISE advisors gave him guidance and suggestions on his entire business plan. “I’m the creative and big idea guy. Between the RISE advisors and my wife, they really kept me grounded,” said Rich. If you would like to see what’s in store at Baker on the Square, visit them online at bakeronthesquare.com or give them a call at (567)401-6120.
Did You Know?
RISE provides new and small business assistance across Erie and Huron County. With experienced advisors, RISE can assist with the planning and execution of essential tasks to position your business for success. When considering opening a new business or making a significant change, contact RISE to ensure you are checking off all the boxes. To learn more contact us today!
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