2017-06-18 / Marketplace

Crust bakery opens in downtown Lapeer

BY ALEX PETRIE
810-452-2657 • apetrie@mihomepaper.com


Crust’s farmers market manager Tony Strump, co-owner Chad Brennan and market employee Taylor Topolski help to make up the team at Crust, a baking company that recently opened a small location inside Blondie’s Sweet Boutique and Dagwood’s Deli in downtown Lapeer. 
Photo by Alex Petrie Crust’s farmers market manager Tony Strump, co-owner Chad Brennan and market employee Taylor Topolski help to make up the team at Crust, a baking company that recently opened a small location inside Blondie’s Sweet Boutique and Dagwood’s Deli in downtown Lapeer. Photo by Alex Petrie LAPEER — The arrival of Crust has been aptly described as a “win/win situation” on a number of occasions, summing up the mutual delight of all involved parties, not to mention their satisfied customers. The baking company, now situated in the front corner of Dagwood’s and Blondie’s in downtown Lapeer, has steadily gained attention and bolstered its already excellent reputation since setting up shop earlier this spring.

As their mission states, the company, headquartered in Fenton, is “dedicated to excellence in artisan principles.” The company is also committed to “providing an outstanding experience, furthering education of their craft, profitability, and involvement in the communities in which they operate.” Owned by two married couples, Chad and Marybeth Brennan and Mike Green and Mark Hamel, Crust offers a huge selection of breads and pastries, including cookies, cakes, scones, doughnuts, muffins and pies.

Since opening in 2012, the baking company has exploded in popularity and locations, now offering their products at more than three dozen businesses and markets throughout Michigan, from Ann Arbor to Midland and from Dearborn to Bay City.

“We opened up the bakery back in 2012 because we wanted to grow, essentially, and we wanted to find a way to source to ourselves with a superior product,” said co-owner Chad Brennan, who also owns The Laundry, a popular restaurant in Fenton. “It made sense to open a bakery because we’d been purchasing a lot of baked goods for a very long time. We’ve been very blessed and Crust has been very well accepted at home and through our wholesale (operation), which has grown quite a bit in the past five years.”

Crust continued their northeastern expansion, setting up a booth at the Davison Farmers Market, where the baked goods immediately became sought-after. But after leaving the organization, Brennan says that he wanted to maintain a presence in the area. Because the bakery already provided Dagwood’s with bread from their wholesale operation, he and his partners, along with Dagwood’s and Blondie’s owners Samantha Dionne and Nickol Schop, came to the conclusion that renting space from the Lapeer eatery would benefit everybody.

“We have a really great relationship with Sam and Nickol,” said Brennan. “And there were a lot of people in this area that would drive to Davison for our (baked goods). So, we were directing people here to Dagwood’s, because they’re the wholesale customer that’s closest to Davison. And then Sam and Nickol were very open to the idea of us taking over in the front of their store. It’s working out great.”

Tony Strump, of Lapeer, is a former principal who took up baking when he retired. He’s now been with Crust for more than two years and serves as their farmers market manager, but can often be found at the Lapeer location.

“It’s so neat to watch people come in from Dagwood’s and say, ‘Hey! That’s the bread I just had in there,’” said Strump. “We offer a great product, and part of what drew me to Crust is that we don’t use any additives or preservatives in our bread. It’s also a lot of fun.”

“I think this has done well in terms of meeting a need in the community, as well as our customer base, so it’s definitely a win/win situation,” said Brennan.

For more information, including hours and locations, visit www.crustandbeyond.com.

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