Alma Hill Breads to open bakery in downtown Lapeer
LAPEER — Amos Spahnie and Carla Lipari sell their goods at a number of farmer’s markets, and they live in Goodrich, but downtown Lapeer has captured their hearts. So much so, that they have intentions to expand their business from a booth at the local farmers market to a storefront bakery.
Spahnie and Lipari are best known at the market as the smiling faces behind Alma Hill Breads. He was an automotive technician for 35 years and she was working as a nanny, but they decided it was time for a change.
“I got to the point where I was just burned out on my job,” said Spahnie. “We kind of reinvented ourselves.”
Spahnie said he has always liked to bake. He learned from his mother, Alma Hill, and he started making this banana bread that had friends and neighbors telling him he should sell it. Five years ago, they started selling baked goods at farmer’s markets, and this is their second summer in Lapeer. They enjoy the town and people so much, they wanted to bring something special to the community.
“It wasn’t too far from home, and I like this,” said Lipari, turning and waving her hand to indicate Nepessing Street.
She came from New York, where a person can stop in at any number of bakeries for freshlybaked bread, cannolis, and other goodies that are hard to come by around here. In addition, they find most store-bought baked goods to be too processed and too sweet.
At the Alma Hill booth, customers quickly grab up cookies, breads, foccacia, garlic knots, pepperoni sticks with sauce for dipping, and other goodies. Rarely do they have anything left over after a market day, and often they sell out hours before the market closes.
In other words, their baked goods are wildly popular among the locals.
“We got such an unbelievable reception,” said Lipari. “Business has been very, very good. We’re very blessed by our customers.”
Among customer favorites are the lemon cookies, bagels and OMG cookies, made with orange, molasses and ginger. Customers don’t have to feel too bad about eating them, either, because they’re made with a lot less sugar than other baked goods. Everything is made from scratch using their patented recipes, and natural ingredients — nothing that has been geneticallymodified.
Spahnie and Lipari are in the process of getting financing in place and making sure their chosen bakery space — near Chaos Ephex Tattoos — is clean and up-to-code for their business. They are hoping to get in there before the end of the year, so they can start serving the local people the quality baked goods.
“I like this market because it has the most laid back, nicest people and there’s a good sense of community,” Lipari said. “We feel it. We put it out there and they give it back. We’re very pleased with the people in Lapeer. They’re super good to us and we want to be super good to them, too”