In keeping with the current trend of interesting restaurant news, Mount Bakery owner Vince Lalonde will move the bakery portion of his business into the old Fairhaven Pizza location, at 1217 Harris Ave., in early August and has plans to expand service there to include a 35-seat cafe later that month.
When Mount Bakery first opened, it was a small Belgian-style bakery. The business later expanded to include a restaurant, and the restaurant eventually grew to need more room — that’s when the business’s original owner bought the space next door, tore down the wall and added 24 seats.
Since Lalonde bought the business in December 2007, both the bakery and restaurant have continued to grow.
“Every year has been better than the last and every month has been better than the month before it,” Lalonde said, who added that his staff has everything to do with that growth.
But the kitchen and seating spaces have become increasingly cramped and in order for the business to continue growing, more room is needed.
“We barely can meet the demand in this space,” Lalonde said. “It’s challenging to find room.”
The kitchen staff and bakers currently share equipment, storage and space — all of the baked goods are made on a 6-foot-long table that sometimes serves three bakers at a time standing shoulder to shoulder.
When the bakery portion of the business moves out, the kitchen will have more room and Lalonde planss to add about 10 seats and another dessert display case.
The two locations will have a symbiotic relationship with each other. All deserts will be baked at the Fairhaven location, then delivered daily to the downtown restaurant. Lalonde will start serving coffee and pastries in the new space sometime in August, and eventually wants to deliver salads, sandwiches and soups made downtown to Fairhaven on a daily basis.
There won’t be much lag time between Fairhaven Pizza’s move out in late June and Mount Bakery’s move in, but Lalonde said he didn’t need much time to ready the space for his business.
“The facility is ready to move into,” he said. “The place is basically turnkey.”
And it’s a good thing only minor changes were needed — summer is Mount Bakery’s busiest season and Lalonde is currently opening extra early to allow Tour de France fans to watch the race live over cups of coffee and pastries.
Not to mention the expansion comes at the heels of another big change at Mount Bakery — the restaurant just started serving dinner Wednesday through Saturday.
Lalonde expects those evening hours and the new display case to boost dessert sales.
Very few people order dessert for breakfast or lunch, so serving dinner will likely increase plated desert sales. And a lot of people prefer spontaneous after-work dessert purchases to pre-ordering — Lalonde said the increased hours and options in the cases will be more appealing to them.
He also expects the new location to help with dessert sales, not only because the bakers will be able to produce more, but also because customers with orders to pick up will have more places to park.
When the cafe opens in the new space, hours will probably be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the latest, Lalonde said.
For more information, visit www.mountbakery.com.