Michigan’s Best Local Foods: Mackenzies Bakery Brings Decades of Tradition to Vicksburg

VICKSBURG, MI — Perfectly at home in a renovated 167-year-old building in downtown Vicksburg, Mackenzies Bakery brings decades of tradition to the village.

The bakery, at 103 E. Prairie St., opened to the public Thursday, April 14, and will serve longtime favorites like Struan and Pretzel bread, known to fans of the namesake bakery, MacKenzie’s Bakery in Kalamazoo. , which closed in December 2020.

Now, 90 years after Nona MacKenzie started selling bread, sweet rolls, pies and fried potato cakes from a roadside stand in South Haven, and 42 years after her grandson brought the three-generation business to Kalamazoo, the family name revives, but with a slight intentional change and new ownership.

Related: MacKenzies’ Bakery: From a 1930s Roadside Stand to One of Michigan’s Best Donuts

In addition to consulting with former owner John MacKenzie, new bakery owner Chris Moore brought in two longtime MacKenzie employees to run day-to-day operations, including general manager Jill Younger, who has worked for the bakery for 20 years, and head baker Cris Najar.

Younger told MLive that in the months leading up to opening, she would receive about 20 emails a week from longtime customers and Vicksburg residents asking when they would open. They also asked if they would continue to offer signature breads such as Struan – a slightly sweet wheat bread made with brown rice, brown sugar, buttermilk and oats.

“Everyone is so excited,” she said of the opening of the 1,700 square foot space, located next to the Prairie Ronde Artist Gallery, which will occasionally offer table space for tastings. pastries and coffee.

In addition to Struan and Pretzel breads, the bakery will serve crispy Italian, Harvest Grain and Paesano breads, as well as crispy and French baguettes, as well as a variety of cookies, muffins and jams, and the famous Kalamazoo factory. Coffee brand, Younger said.

Located just 20 miles south of Kalamazoo, in the former home of Doris-Lee’s Sweet Shop and The Brass Rail, the new bakery is the first of many projects that 57-year-old Moore has seven other downtown properties. town as well as the Mill in Vicksburg — intends to bring to his hometown of Vicksburg.

Related: Ambitious redevelopment seeks $1.35 million to clean up shuttered factory

“He’s working very hard to create a thriving Vicksburg and make it much more vibrant than it already is,” said Jackie Koney, chief operating officer of Paper City Development, Moore’s Vicksburg-based company. “He just wants to bring more to his hometown.”

Koney said she remembers Moore, a Seattle resident, telling her more than 20 years ago when the building at 103 E. Prairie St. became vacant that he wanted to own it one day. .

“He called it the most beautiful building in town,” she said. “He always had this vision and he always dreamed of having a bakery. It was just a matter of time. »

When wasn’t supposed to be now, and the bakery wasn’t supposed to be the first project he would complete, Koney said, but when MacKenzie’s bakery went up for sale, it presented an opportunity to bring a well-known brand with a loyal following in downtown Vicksburg. And this opportunity was too good to pass up.

“I remember fondly walking with classmates through downtown Vicksburg with a quarterback in hand happily buying a turnover at Otto’s Bakery,” Moore said. “I hope a visit to Mackenzies Bakery will create memories for a new generation for residents and visitors to our hometown.”

Related: Longtime Kalamazoo Bakery Legacy Lives On As New Brand Owner Brings Mackenzies to Vicksburg

The bakery, which features photos of the MacKenzies of yesteryear, as well as all the same recipes, brought a smile to now-retired John MacKenzie when he came to a ‘bread cutting ceremony’ last week.

“Chris Moore and his team really captured the essence of a small town bakery while incorporating modern functionality,” MacKenzie said. “The space has so much natural light and charm, as well as the best baking oven in the industry.

“It just makes me smile knowing the legacy continues with this Vicksburg location.”

The bakery is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, visit www.mackenziesbakery.com. Contact the bakery at (269) 475-5015.

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