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The Scarlet & Black

New Grin City Bakery to open soon

Grin City Bakery will offer a selection of baked goods like these when they open. Contributed Photo.

With the highly anticipated Grin City Bakery ready to open in the next few weeks, Grinnell residents are in for a treat. Bill and Andy Molison, the father-son duo behind the bakery, have been hard at work for the past few months and will soon be ready to begin normal operation.

Andy Molison shared the origins of his love of baking. “I’d say I’ve always enjoyed baking. I got that from my grandma. … But my real love for baking came in the past 10 years, actually just living on my own, and [I] just decided to start making everything for myself. It’s just a fun thing to put together and watch how things work, how things rise, how different things come out according to the environment,” he said.

This interest in baking, combined with a desire to return to his home, led him to the idea for the bakery. “I grew up here, went to middle school and high school here. … I’ve been in Cedar Rapids for the past 19 years. And I was just interested in coming back and getting back to my roots.”

Bill Molison, his father, has lived in Grinnell all his life, and his son’s return could not have come at a better time. “I’ve always had an affiliation with downtown. Urban planning and economic development is my professional background, [so] I just saw [a] market that needed to be addressed. The Danish Maid bakery [a former bakery in Grinnell] is gone and the void was never filled. So his timing of wanting to return to Grinnell and my time of having a late career, ‘What to do next?’ worked out together.”

The elder Molison doesn’t do any baking, but he’s content with his role in the venture, saying his son “[is] the one that knows the chemistry of baking. … I am a good dishwasher, stirrer, taster and face behind the counter, which is a role I like to fill.”

The bakery is slated to have a wide range of sweet delights. Customers will have their choice of donuts, including regular glazed donuts, Bismarcks, long johns, as well as cake donuts and others treats. Andy will also make white, wheat, French, rye and English muffin bread, and sugar, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and peanut butter cookies. Their specialty will be cinnamon and pecan rolls.

Grinnellians might remember that Grin City Bakery used to house the Sunrise Bakery, which closed in September 2018. The Molisons are unfazed by this, though, and Bill Molison shared some of the reasons for this confidence. “People are really appreciative of [us] bringing back what Bill and Suzi Hansen did at their bakery for two generations. And we’re real proud to be able to bring a part of that back to Grinnell. They’ve become very good friends and good mentors during this whole process.”

As part of this, they’ve decided to reinstate a moderated version of one of the most popular features of the Hansen’s bakery. “Historically, the Danish Maid had their doors open at midnight, and they accommodated anybody from college students to people getting off a late shift. … You [could] come in and get a hot, fresh donut at one or two in the morning,” Bill Molison explained. “We want to recreate that. It won’t be a nightly experience. But through some coordination with offices on campus, we hope to recreate that on a scheduled basis.”

The bakery is currently not open for business, but they hope to change that soon. “We have not set a specific date yet. We think we’ll be ready in two or three weeks. But we’re not able to set the date quite yet,” Andy said.

In the meantime however, he’s encouraging people to stop by and sample some goods. “We’re always producing … and people wander by. Once we put out on Facebook [that] we filled a whole case [with donuts], and it was gone in an hour. So people are welcome to stop in anytime. We like chatting with people about where we’re at.”

Hours for the bakery, when open, will be Tuesday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Grin City Bakery will offer a selection of baked goods like these when they open. Contributed Photo.
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