New bakery makes downtown Windsor a little sweeter

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Windsor Star/Dane Wanniarachige

After more than 40 years, a bakery has finally opened in downtown Windsor as part of a campaign to revitalize the city’s core.

The Sunrise Bakery, at 30 University Ave. E., was packed Monday with excited customers looking for sweet deals on opening day.

“I moved here recently, and this is what I was looking for, quality bread and a periodic pastry,” said Terry Shanke, who had a box filled with baklava, apricot pastries and coconut cookies. “It’s just what the doctor ordered.”

A bakery is a vital part of the downtown core that has been missing for decades, said Larry Horwitz, chair of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association.

“We need those businesses to create a balanced core that is inviting for residents, merchants and visitors from all over the county,” he said.

For its first year, the bakery will receive $625 monthly from the $100,000 set aside by the DWBIA to revitalize the downtown area. Other missing businesses that Horwitz plans to invest in are a butcher shop, hardware store and art store.

“Those are some basic building blocks of a downtown that was in utter chaos a few years ago,” Horwitz said. “Now it is turning the corner and heading in a direction that we want.”

He hopes these staple businesses will stimulate economic development and help the area succeed.

“If you go to Toronto, Chicago or Boston these are things that you’re always going to find there,” he said.

For pastry chef and owner Ali Bazzi, he hopes to keep customers in downtown Windsor happy with his 280 different kinds of desserts.

“The most popular pastry is the éclairs and Romanoff cakes,” he said. “I just hope in the future people keep coming. We will offer them the best product and service, and that’s how you bring people back.”

Sitting with his box of treats, sipping an espresso, Shanke said he will definitely be a repeat customer.

“If I had to use one adjective, it would be superb,” he said. “There are exquisite pastries and selections of bread.”