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Katie Marggraf and Jesse Ives

A delight not to be missed is Union Pier, Michigan’s newest tasting experience sensation, The Black Currant Bakehouse on Townline Road. The Memorial Day weekend grand opening was a smashing success, with a line outside that snaked down the block. Those lucky patrons who were among the first to savor the American craft bakery nosh earned social-media bragging rights to say nothing of a timeless flavor that wooed and soothed.

Barista team Hannah Lily and Josie;

The original bakery concept, which features organic goods and pastries from scratch of the modern, traditional, vegan, and gluten-free variety, is the brainchild of creator Katie Marggraf.

“The favorites right now — it’s only been a week — are doughnuts and cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls are one of my specialties and one of my favorites. I’m really happy about that. We make giant cinnamon rolls. I love to eat them and my family has always loved to eat them, and now, I get to share them with other people.” They use different frostings on them depending on the day. Doughnuts have been equally popular among patrons, even selling out within an hour.

On her culinary journey, Marggraf has been a baker for about 10 years. She has wanted to live in this area and, she says, “I wanted to be my own boss. Jesse Ives was nice enough to come along for the ride and be as supportive as he possibly could; and, he is also a chef.” Ives has been making the savory items, including a popular quiche with tempeh bacon. Of Ives and savories, Marggraf said, “That’s all him. He manages the front end; he does all the coffee. He handles all the stuff that I just can’t do because I’m baking everything,” said Marggraf.

On the Black Currant Bakehouse culture, she continued: “Our philosophy is quality, local, kind; so that to us means super high-quality pastries all from scratch.” They make everything in house except for the bagels, which hail from Broad Street in St. Joseph, Michigan.

Their entire dairy is local, including local eggs and butter. They are hiring locally in the community; “We live locally now. It’s really important for us that our products and our attitude reflect the local environment.”

Ives and Marggraf are both vegetarians, and Marggraf said, “We like to be kind to the environment and kind to animals.We like to compost, recycle, reduce and reuse as much as we possibly can at all times.” The emphasis on kindness continued as Marggraf said, “we like to be kind to each other and to all our employees.

Bakery offerings

It’s really important to us to be good, kind bosses and to be good, kind people to our customers too.”

When it comes to sustenance and sustainability, Marggraf leads the way. “Our quiches, our sandwiches are all vegetarian. The main thing is that we are all scratch — we do everything in house, everything. And, we are really proud of that. It’s a lot of hard work especially since I’m the only one doing [the baking] right now. We pride ourselves on that,” said Marggraf, adding, “I would be embarrassed to have to tell somebody that we got something in frozen. I’m really proud to say that Jesse and I make everything. We are doing it. We are the real deal.”

She continued, adding, “I need people to know that we are not Ramberg’s Bakery. This is a different company.” The bakery has been freshly remodeled, with an airy, beachy feel. The two have a respect for the history that is Ramberg’s, but are making this venture their own; “We made it more modern. We are a nice cool place to hang. We want people to come hang out here and [aspire] to be somebody’s stomping ground,” expressed Marggraf.

On the origin of their coffee, Jesse Ives gives an explanation: “We use Uncommon Coffee out of Saugatuck, Michigan [www.uncommoncoffeeroasters.com], who are still relatively local. We really support that they are an LGBT coffee roaster.”

Marggraf added, “the owners support the community; the coffee is delicious. We have a brand new espresso machine. Jesse is the main barista. We put our heart into all our coffee drinks.” In addition to high quality and locally sourced ingredients, the bakery offers Rishi Tea.

From specialty cake orders for parties and weddings to scratch-made pastries that cater to all tastes and diets, The Black Currant Bakehouse has their eye on the prize.

On her forte, she said, “my personal specialty that I have worked on over the years more than anything else is cake decorating. So, birthday cakes, specialty cakes, wedding cakes; that’s my favorite thing to do.”

The friendly and attentive baristas — Hannah, Lily and Josie — strive to ensure excellent customer care at every touch point. A warm welcome awaits you at The Black Currant Bakehouse.

Summer hours are Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. through 3 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. (ET) Follow @BlackCurrantBakehouse on Facebook for news and updates. For catering inquiries call (269) 586-3830 during business hours, drop by [http://blackcurrantbakehouse.com/] at 9911 Townline Road or Email: info@blackcurrantbakehouse.com