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The Scarlet & Black

Bakery coming to downtown Grinnell

By Amanda Weber

This November, downtown Grinnell will be welcoming a new addition to its food scene: the Sunrise Bakery, operated by local business owner Melissa Vine. The bakery is tentatively scheduled to open on Nov. 17, hopefully in time for the Jingle Bell Holiday festivities. At its opening, customers will be able to experience Vine’s completed vision for a bakery with a “modern, progressive feel.”

“I want it to feel like when people walk in the door, they’re kind of stepping out of rural Iowa for a moment and stepping into the city,” Vine explained.

The bakery will serve everything from quiches to bagels to cakes, made with ingredients that cater to various dietary preferences, such as whole-grain wheat, natural sweeteners, gluten-free grains and local produce and eggs. Vine was inspired to use these ingredients by her experiences experimenting with healthier bread-making for her family, using techniques such as milling her own flour and using honey instead of sugar. For those looking for a more classic treat, however, simple white flour and refined sugar are also involved in plenty of recipes.

“One of my values … is having a place that is food positive and body positive,” Vine said. “I just want this to be a place where anyone can come and find something on the menu that they want to eat and feel good about it.”

However, positivity regarding food is not Vine’s only concern. As a member of the Grinnell community herself, Vine has a passion for promoting a healthy community. Her hope is that the bakery will serve as a morning gathering space for the town of Grinnell, and that such a space will facilitate positive interactions between members of the community. If all goes according to Vine’s vision, Sunrise Bakery’s relationship with the community will be a very reciprocal one, giving back as much as it gets.

“I’m excited about having another place in town for folks to get to meet together,” she said, adding, “I want this to be a place that gives back to the community.”

Aside from fostering a more connected and positive community, Vine also seeks to improve some of the more serious issues the community faces. Vine’s investment in such issues stems from her job as a mental health counselor in the City of Grinnell, her background working with Crisis Intervention Services and her experience supervising Grinnell College’s Advocates. In particular, Vine is seeking ways to use her business’ success to help reduce and eliminate sexual assault, stalking and domestic violence in the community.

“[We’re] looking for ways that we can use profits from this business to support organizations that help to reduce those incidents in our communities and in the College,” Vine said.

Overall, Vine seeks to create a bakery that will help foster health and happiness in individuals and the greater Grinnell community, using sweet treats, baked goods and a positive atmosphere to start off the day. 

“I just really want this to be a place that’s really positive and where people are being kind to themselves and kind to others,” she said.

For more information about the bakery’s hours and goods, see the bakery website at

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