Sunshine Bakery closes temporarily, now in transition


Sunrise Bakery in Grinnell closed on Thursday. Photo by Zoey Kohler.

Shabana Gupta

Sunrise Bakery is going through a transition period, gaining a new owner and pastry chef. In order to accommodate the changes, the current owner Melissa Vine decided to close the business temporarily as the new owner sets everything up the way they want it.

Many of the menu items will change since the intellectual property of their recipes belong to Chef Taylor.

“It made more sense to get all the details worked out with the person purchasing the business and then they can take time to get things set up how they want and to practice their own recipes and then open when they’re ready,” said Vine. She has a buyer, but that information is still confidential at this time.

A few months ago Vine opened a music booking agency, which she will focus on after the bakery is fully sold. While the bakery was a good learning opportunity, Vine is excited for the future of her agency. “I love networking and I love music and I’ve met a lot of fun people so I think that’s more sustainable for me in the long term.” Vine is also a public speaker, and her number of gigs is increasing as she is receiving corporate training.

One reason Vine feels the bakery was not as successful as it could have been is that she did not pay enough attention to the numbers. “I’m a very passionate person so the idea of bringing a bakery to Grinnell was very exciting to me,” she said. “Even before I opened, the numbers for having an owner and an operator as separate people didn’t look great.” Vine went forward with the idea because she was feeling good about the idea and structure.

There were other barriers when running the bakery, of course. “There are not as many females in business or as entrepreneurs,” Vine said, “and I think that you have to work that much harder to be treated with fairness and equality, and that has brought some major challenges at times.”

Despite these challenges, Vine has found that a small town such as Grinnell is the perfect place to open a small business, and she truly appreciates the community. “They have been faithful to support the bakery, to remember — when they have a birthday coming up or are taking the kids out for breakfast — those folks like me who are small business owners, and that has meant so much to me.”

Sunrise Bakery in Grinnell closed on Thursday. Photo by Zoey Kohler.