DETROIT (WWJ) – A Detroit-based bakery is announcing a major expansion that will ultimately mean more jobs and a much-needed boost for the economy.

Avalon International Breads, located in the city’s Midtown district, has been in business since 1997 and on Thursday, company officials will announce an expansion to a 50,000 square foot building on East Forrest, a project slated to cost $2.2 million.

The new building, which will be called Avalon City Ovens, will house the organic bakery’s food production and will be a catalyst for growing its product line. Company officials say the facility will hire 100 bakers, drivers, sales and customer service workers.

Avalon has a store on Willis, which will move to Canfield next spring, while a cafe inside Henry Ford Hospital will remain.

“In July of 2012, we opened our second retail storefront — the “Eat Well, Do Good” cafe inside Henry Ford Hospital’s West Grand Boulevard facility,” Ann Perrault, co-founder of Avalon International Breads, said in a release. “The quick success of this store and growing demand for Avalon products in suburban Detroit and Ann Arbor has prompted our expansion.”

The renovation at 6555 East Forrest is the first phase of Avalon’s long-awaited expansion plans and just one piece of a $2.2 million expansion project, funded by a loan that closed in early October.

Weathering the 2008 recession, the foreclosure and banking crisis and political upheaval in Detroit, the loan is a major accomplishment not only for one of Detroit’s favorite bakeries, but also for the public and private partners in the project.

“Our phenomenal expansion into grocery stores, restaurants, cafes and new retail outlets has far exceeded the capacity of our original 2,000 square foot production and retail flagship store on Willis,” said Perrault. “As the city of Detroit continues its renaissance, Avalon has the unique opportunity to provide a state of the art manufacturing facility for baked goods and create much-needed jobs for the area.”


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