The Chez Marche Cafe has a new roommate.
On Wednesday, Nov. 2, the New Village Bakery began selling its breads and pastries from the cafe’s storefront.
“Bonni (Miller) was the initiator on this,” said Amy Powers. “She made it very easy for us to say ‘yes.'”
Miller is the owner of the cafe, while Powers and David Ryle are the co-owners of the Amherst bakery.
Powers and Ryle formed the partnership last spring.
“I was moonlighting across the street at the Morning Star cafe,” Powers said.
During a conversation with Ryle, she asked him if he had ever thought about selling his breads wholesale and offered to help.
“We formed a partnership,” Powers said. “I do the wholesales, invoicing, and he bakes. Then, he has time to be creative.”
Ryle, a native of Scotland, classically apprenticed and worked as a pastry chef before coming to the United States.
His wife Susan is originally from the East Coast, which is what resulted in his move across the ocean.
They moved to Central Wisconsin when he was recruited by Jung’s Garden Center in Stevens Point. Ryle’s family has a background in the bulb business, and with Susan and him being the parents of four children, Ryle thought working in hospitality would be tough on their family life.
A little more than a year ago, he returned to making breads and pastries when he opened the bakery in Amherst.
Meanwhile, in downtown Waupaca, Miller has been in business for about 10 years.
Last year, Miller began Farm to Fork.
Miller uses her connections with local farmers to create meals. People can subscribe to the program for 32 weeks and receive a box of frozen, cooked food once a week.
She came up with the idea after wishing she could pull something out of her own freezer for dinner after a day of work that was made from local ingredients.
“It was a big hit right away,” Miller said of Farm to Fork. “I had to cap it at 18 people.”
The box that subscribers receive includes a full meal, plus a pasta entree with sauce, a vegetable entree, a pint of soup, a loaf of bread and a dessert.
The cost of a basic box is $30 a week. She can tweak things a bit. Find out more information about Farm to Fork at http://chezfarmtofork.blogspot.com or by calling her at 715-281-7431.
“I had been making my own bread,” she said.
Then, she turned to the New Village Bakery for the bread for her boxes.
Soon, their conversations turned to how the two businesses could help each other.
“They will be a drop spot for the boxes in Amherst,” Miller said.
In Waupaca, boxes can be picked up at the Chez Marche Cafe. In addition, there is free delivery in the city. Another drop site is at North Wind Renewable Energy in Stevens Point, and she said there is also interest in Farm to Fork from people who live in Appleton.
With Miller taking 40 subscribers this year for the program, her new relationship with Powers and Ryle will allow her to put more energy into Farm to Fork.
On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, New Village Bakery will open the Chez at 9 a.m. Sharon Johnson works for the bakery and lives in Stevens Point.
“She will zip by the bakery in the morning and pick everything up in Amherst all warm and fresh and bring it straight here,” Powers said. “If we find the demand, we will love to work with Bonni on Saturday mornings.”
The cafe will be open until 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Johnson will start the coffee each of those mornings, and Miller’s soups, sandwiches and salads will be ready for the lunch crowd.
“I will still do breakfast every Saturday morning like I’ve done,” Miller said.
The New Village Bakery will be bringing Ryle’s European pastries to Waupaca.
Powers said his breads are also very European. “They are very crusty. He uses no preservatives and unbleached flours,” she said. “The things he chooses are very healthy.”