Willow Street Bakery in Green Bay will close after business on Oct. 31.
GREEN BAY – Willow Street Bakery will close on Oct. 31.
Owners Mark and Jill Baldwin bought the bakery in 1993 after Mark had worked there for 13 years. In fact, he’s never been out of the bakery business. His parents owned Preble One Forty One Bakery Delicatessen on Main Street and they had a crib for him there.
“I’m going to live a normal life,” he said, while admitting he wasn’t entirely sure what a normal life is, except that it doesn’t include going to work at midnight every day. He’s pretty sure it does include using his fishing boat more than two weeks a year and having relaxed family holidays.
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The Baldwins decided to close their traditional, family-owned bakery at 1741 University Ave. after Baldwin was offered a job as a driver for Curative Connections of Green Bay. The cost of health care, which has been barely affordable, was also a factor in the decision to work for someone else.
The Baldwins have a core of regular customers, both walk-in and catering, who they’ve begun to notify.
“A couple started to cry,” Jill said.
Mark said he’ll be out with Jill and they’ll see a customer and she will say, “They order three donuts,” or “They get two loaves of bread.”
“I don’t know names. I know what they eat,” Jill said.
Ed Zenko, who’s been a regular since 1969, dropped by to make a purchase and tell some jokes. He always has several jokes for Jill. It’s their regular routine. He was disappointed, but not surprised, to learn of the closing.
“It’s my favorite bakery in Green Bay,” he said. “But you can’t stay in business forever.”
Willow Street was found by Ron Bachus in 1966, before Willow Street became University Avenue. Mark joined the bakery in 1980.
He will not miss the work, but he doesn’t regret his years in the business either. It’s made a good living for his family. The one thing he will miss is the buns they make, which he says are superior to “that stuff they sell in stores. On special holidays, we get swamped on buns.”
The popular bakery was closed for three months in 2015 while Mark had knee surgery, and a lifetime on his feet continues to add up.
“My knee was so swollen last Christmas, I said this will be the last Christmas. When this job came up, I couldn’t turn it down,” he said.
Willow Street Bakery will close at the end of the day on Oct. 31. They’ll sell whatever remains on the shelves because they don’t plan on baking on that last day, and they’ll adjust hours accordingly. Until then, the hours are 4:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 4:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Mustard Seed Cafe closing
Mustard Seed Cafe, 2314 Lineville Road, in Suamico’s Urban Edge shopping center, will close on Nov. 15.
Owners Ken and Patty Hendrickson founded Mustard Seed Cafe in 2007 in Bellevue. They opened the Suamico restaurant in 2015 and closed the Bellevue location later that year.
“We just were too small of an operation for this site and we truly can’t find another spot that would fit our needs without spending a lot of time, money and energy in pulling it off… again…,” the Hendrickson’s wrote on their Facebook page.
Patty Hendrickson advised customers who have gift certificates to use them before the Nov. 15 closing.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. The telephone number is (920) 455-0887.
Packers program seeks applicants
The Green Bay Packers Mentor-Protege Program is taking applications for the 2018 program year.
Protege companies are paired with mentor companies and individuals to provide technical, managerial, financial and other guidance. The program is open to all businesses, with a focus on businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and the disabled.
A meet-and-greet event is scheduled for 3 p.m. Nov. 1 at Lambeau Field. Attendees should enter the Shopko Gate on the south end of the stadium. RSVPs can be made at email@example.com.
For information, call AFF Research at (920) 884-5006 or go to www.packers.com/mentorprotege.