MI: Mackenzies Bakery, a 167-year-old, restored downtown Vicksburg building, has brought decades of tradition to VICKSBURG.
The bakery, located at 103 E. Prairie St., opened its doors to the public on Thursday, April 14, and will serve long-time favorites such as Struan and Pretzel bread, known to those who have similar names, MacKenzie's Bakery in Kalamazoo.
Nona MacKenzie began selling bread, sweet rolls, and potato fried cakes from a roadside table in South Haven, and 42 years later, her family name resurrected, albeit with a slight, deliberate change and a new owner.
Following the acquisition of MacKenzie's Bakery because of respect to the previous owner, new bakery owner Chris Moore changed the name. Although MacKenzie's Bakery is no longer MacKenzie's Bakery, Moore and his company will continue to honor the legacy of the family and strive for the brand to be recognized.
Moore joined together with former owner John MacKenzie's staff to complete their daily operations, including general manager Jill Younger, who has served with the bakery for 20 years, and head baker Cris Najar.
Younger told MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette that in the months leading up to her opening she would receive a dozen emails a week from long-time customers and residents of Vicksburg, requesting when they'd open. They also asked if they would continue to carry signature breads like Struan, which is a slightly sweet wheat bread made with brown rice, brown sugar, buttermilk, and oats.
"Everyone's just been so excited," said the director of the Prairie Ronde Artist Gallery, which is currently offering 1,700 square feet of seating. At times, table space will be used to enjoy baked goods and coffee.
According to Younger, the bakery will serve up scratch-baked Crispy Italian, Harvest Grain, and Paesano breads, as well as Crispy and French Baguettes, as well as a wide variety of cookies, muffins, and jams.
The new bakery, located 12 miles south of Kalamazoo, in the former home of, is the first of many projects that Moore, 57 years old, who owns seven other downtown properties and the Mill at Vicksburg, intends to bring to Vicksburg.
"He's working really hard to make a flourishing Vicksburg more vibrant than it has already been," says Jackie Koney, CEO of Paper City Development, Moore's Vicksburg-based firm. "He just wants to bring more to his hometown."
According to Koney, a Seattle resident who lived there for over 20 years before the building at 103 E. Prairie St. became vacant said he would own it for the first time.
He called it the most beautiful building in town, she said. Hes always had this vision and there was always a dream to have a bakery. It was only a matter of when.
When wasn't supposed to be now, and the bakery wasn't intended to be the first project he would finish, according to Koney, but when MacKenzie's bakery was put up for sale, it provided an opportunity to reclaim a well-known brand with a loyal following in downtown Vicksburg. That opportunity was too good to pass up.
Moore said he enjoys going with high school classmates to downtown Vicksburg with a quarter in hand eager to purchase Otto's bakery. "My hope is that a visit to Mackenzies Bakery will bring a new generation's worth of memories to residents and visitors in our city."
When John MacKenzie came to a "bread-cutting ceremony," the bakery, which includes pictures of the MacKenzie's of yesteryear as well as all the same foods.
Chris Moore and his team have truly captured the essence of a small-town bakery while incorporating modern functionality, MacKenzie said. The space has so much natural light and charm, along with the best baking oven in the industry.
"It just brings a smile to my face, recognizing that this location in Vicksburg remains a legacy."
The bakery is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information, please contact the customer service line at (269) 475-5015.
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