This month, we honor Bit of Swiss Bakery, Stevensville, Mich., as our industry’s gold standard by naming it Modern Baking’s Retail Bakery of the Year.
I don’t know about you, but I spent much of the first few weeks of August glued to the TV watching the Olympics. Even if I already knew the outcome due to NBC’s tape delay of top events, I still found myself watching to see the journey to the gold medal–the ultimate achievement. This month, we honor Bit of Swiss Bakery, Stevensville, Mich., as our industry’s gold standard by naming it Modern Baking’s Retail Bakery of the Year.
Bit of Swiss joins esteemed company, as past winners include: LaSalle Bakery, Providence, R.I.; Oakmont Bakery, Oakmont, Pa.; Costeaux French Bakery, Healdsburg, Calif.; Pasticceria Bruno, Staten Island, N.Y.; Atwood’s Bakery, Alexandria, La.; Torrance Bakery, Torrance, Calif.; Porto’s Bakery, Glendale, Calif.; and Cold Spring Bakery, Cold Spring, Minn. And much like the Olympics coverage, we gave away the winner on our cover, but I hope you’ll click here to read about Bit of Swiss’ journey to the top.
Like any gold medal run, the trip doesn’t come cheap. In the Olympic coverage, we learned that gold medal U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas’ mother went into debt to allow her daughter to train out of state with one of the best coaches in the country. It often takes money to get to the top. However, spending money willy-nilly doesn’t guarantee success; otherwise we’d all be gold medal winners. It takes know-how and quite often sheer guts to spend in ways that lead to success.
Tim and Pat Foley, owners of Bit of Swiss Bakery, are prime examples of spending wisely. After purchasing the bakery 25 years ago, they realized that they would have to invest heavily to achieve the high-quality bakery they wanted in a town heavily trafficked by tourists. They expanded the square footage of the bakery, purchased new equipment and sourced the best ingredients. During their travels in the United States and Europe, they are always keeping their eyes open for a new product that will resonate with their customers in Stevensville.
While money played a key role in gaining the equipment and ingredients they needed to achieve their goal, what can’t be discredited is the heart they put into the business. They had a desire and a drive to create a bakery that was the very best they could make it, and they succeeded in that goal.
And, as with any golden achievement, they couldn’t have done it without heart.