BELLAIRE Bellaire native Lisa Johnson had heard the grumblings about the village's need for a bakery.
Despite having no baking experience and admitting that she's not a baker, Johnson, a former employee at Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel as a chemist, decided to take matters into her own hands.
"Everyone kept saying they wanted a bakery," Johnson said. "People were saying, 'Bellaire needs a bakery; Bellaire needs a bakery.' So, I thought you know what, as long as I am going to stay in this area, I've got to do something because there are no chemist jobs."
T-L Photos/SETH STASKEY
THE NEW All-American Town Bakery opened its doors last week in Bellaire. Pictured are some of the bakery’s staff. From left are Shawn Tomlan, Joan Joan Johnson, owner Lisa Johnson and JoLee Ramsay.
Listening to the residents and at the urging of her family, Johnson decided to take the next step and begin looking into the possibility of opening a bakery.
Last Tuesday, Johnson officially opened the All-American Town Bakery at the former site of the China Buffet restaurant, which is located on Belmont Street.
"We'd been planning this for about a year-and-a-half," Johnson said Friday afternoon.
Bellaire had been without a bakery since Matozzi's closed in 2009 and Johnson actually looked into purchasing that building since the equipment was already there, but couldn't come to terms.
"My baker was a former baker at Matozzi's, so there are some similarities to the products," Johnson said.
As of now, the business has just two paid positions, but Johnson is quick to point out and thank the help being provided by her family as the fledgling business gets off the ground.
"They're not going to live their life around this like I will, but they've been huge helps," Johnson said.
The All-American Town Bakery specializes in the likes of hard rolls, Italian Bread, doughnuts, pastries, pepperoni rolls and could expands its offerings in the coming days and months according to demand from the customers. The bakery will expand to a sugar-free menu as well.
"Through the first four days, we've sold out of everything, and we've already had people coming back," Johnson said. "I've been shocked at how well business has gone so far.
"We're having a tough time keeping glazed doughnuts and hard rolls on hand," Johnson continued. "I've been from Bellaire my whole life and I knew what past bakeries have offered. People have just been coming in and as they mention things we're making a list."
The bakery is open five days a week. It's open from 6:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. The bakery is open on Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.
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