Brod Bread and Pastry to replace Queens Bakery in Blyth this spring
BY DENNY SCOTT
Blyth’s main street, come next spring, should have a new bakery up and running thanks to Karen Middleton-Meadham and Gerrit Sepers.
The couple recently purchased the Queens Bakery and are working towards a spring opening of the Brod Bread and Pastry bakery where the former café was.
The couple and their eight-year-old daughter Lilly moved into the living space above the bakery late last month by way of Guelph and are excited to have a business and be part of the community.
The bakery, which will feature danish breads and pastries, as well as cookies and brownies, will also carry on the tradition of having a café.
“We’ll have a set menu, but then we’ll throw things in,” Sepers said, adding that Lilly has asked them to make “Elephant Feet”, a chocolate-covered treat that’s similar to profiteroles.
As for the name, Middleton-Meadham explains that Brol means bread in Danish, and is an tribute to her grandmother.
Her family is Danish and her grandmother first instructed her in baking. “It’s an homage to her,” she said.
Middleton-Meadham says that, when the business opens, it will represent a life-long dream. She said she has been baking since a child and has been working in the field for years and now she’s ready to have a space of her own.
Until recently, she was plying her culinary chops working at the University of Guelph, but decided to take a step back due to a medical condition which has since been remedied. She decided she wanted a slower pace and to control her own kitchen, leading to the change.
The two saw an opportunity when the bakery property first was put up for sale, however the online listing disappeared and they thought they had missed their chance. It was relisted, however, leading to the two jumping on the chance.
There will be some changes, though both Sepers and Middleton-Meadham agreed that the space is great the way it is. Specifically, they want to put in another oven that will better suit breadmaking and look at changing some of the colour palette of the space.
Seper said the two are doing research on what to offer at the business, saying there will be coffee and other hot and cold drinks. He said he’s excited and very much enjoying sourcing products locally, as well as working with his brother-in-law, a chocolatier, to provide some unique treats and beverages.
“We’ve already started looking at coffee,” he said, adding he’s excited to feature locally-made roasts. “It’s important to stay local and support local as much as we can.”
He also said that, from talking about the space with the previous owners, he understands there is a cultural aspect to the business with book releases, poetry readings and concerts and he and Middleton-Meadham are excited to continue that tradition.
“We want to make it like a community hub and a warm and welcoming environment,” Middleton-Meadham agreed, adding that family-friendly events like movie nights and similar activities are part of their plan.
Sepers said he is excited to, eventually, join the staff of the business. For the time being, however, he is continuing to work in the mental health field in Guelph.
“My dream is to work here,” he said, adding, with a laugh, that he’s looking forward to Middleton-Meadham telling him exactly what needs to be done in the kitchen. “I want to work at the front of the house. I’m a big talker, I like talking, so that’s my big goal and our five-year plan.”
“We wanted to move north,” he said, adding that Middleton-Meadham grew up in a small community in the Collingwood area. “I’ve got a stressful job in Guelph, and it’s great to come here to relax.”
Middleton-Meadham agreed, saying getting away from the “hustle and bustle” and “integrating into a small town” are things she has always wanted.
The family has been in the community for near three weeks and they are excited to be a part of Blyth.