TRAVERSE CITY — A 14th Street bakery aims to bring a little goodness to the world, one Morning Bun at a time.
Common Good Bakery at 537 W. 14th St. takes its name to heart, turning quality ingredients into breakfast and lunch items. Owner Jason Gollan said the cafe is centered on its baked goods and "everything we sell here we make here."
"For us, it's trying to genuinely increase the amount of goodness in the world," Gollan said. "It seems like we live in a cynical time, so our job is to provide genuine hospitality to folks, try to help them feel better when they leave than they did coming in by taking care of them, anticipating their needs and providing a world-class product.
"As a marketer, the strongest tool is the name of your company. What I like the most about this name is everyone has an association with it. We use only real ingredients; there are no preservatives and everything that we're working on is beautiful, flavorful and interesting. We're trying stuff that isn't here right now. There are lots of other bakeries in town, but we're trying to do stuff that is fairly unique."
Open since Aug. 4, Gollan said Morning Buns are one of the bakery's unique items.
"An example is our best-seller, which is called Morning Bun, which is a cinnamon roll that we make out of our flaky croissant dough and then when it's still hot out of the oven, we toss it in cinnamon and sugar," Gollan said. "You're going to buy one and come back tomorrow and buy six — they're that good.
"Providing fresh croissants every day that are made by hand from scratch just doesn't exist up here."
Amy Northway, of Traverse City, was making a return visit to Common Good mid-morning on Friday morning, this time with daughter Emily, who was munching on a sample.
"It's really good," Emily Northway said. "I'm excited for my breakfast sandwich and bakery items. It's really nice to have a bakery on this side of town."
The center of the restaurant and it's nearly 1,300 square feet of space is 23,000-pound Italian-made brick oven that Gollan said took five people a week to build and is "the only one of its kind in Michigan." The oven has a loading device and a steam generator and mirrors the "combination of traditional and modern" throughout the location.
Open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day but Monday, Gollan said he's still adding to "a strong team" at Common Good Bakery. Gollan said the eatery is "giving back as part of our business plan" by working with Food Rescue, using compostable packaging and high-efficiency lighting and equipment.
Common Good has a community-supported bakery program, similar to community-supported agriculture but for bread.
"We're using high-quality flour, high-quality butter and, technique-wise, we're all professionally trained in doing stuff the traditional way, the way it's always been done," Gollan said. "Bread is one of the oldest skills in human history and we try to honor that. It's simple. It is flour, water, salt and yeast and then time and temperature."