A little birdy recently told the Racine County Eye that there’s a new business in town. Baking Bird is a new bakery located at 1013 Main St. in Union Grove. Sweet aromas and friendly faces gathered at the new storefront to celebrate the grand opening on Saturday, June 18.
Melissa Wandrey is the owner and soul of Baking Bird. Wandrey was nicknamed “Bird” around 3 years old. Her mom found Wandrey sitting high up in a tree, and like most mothers, she became uneasy seeing her child up so high. Luckily, Wandrey’s mom had a solution to get her down.
Wandrey shares that her mother bribed her down the tree with a cookie. Her mother wanted her to climb down slowly. “At 3 years old, there was no ‘slowly.’ I darted down the tree for my treats and she started calling me Lissa Bird,” Wandrey said. “When I was a teenager, some friends heard her call me that and then called me ‘Bird’ from then on.”
Nesting in Union Grove
“Bird” has been a professional baker for 15 years. However, it wasn’t until now that her dream has come true. After years of living up north in Frederic, she took a leap of faith to come to Union Grove to be with her fiancé. Simultaneously, she was pursuing her love for baking. She worked in a few bakeries around Southeastern Wisconsin but knew that having a storefront of her own was what she was meant to do.
“Since Union Grove really didn’t have (a bakery), I thought it would be perfect,” Wandrey said. The bakery is the first of its kind on Main Street and it’s the nesting spot that Wandrey dreamed of making.
“Bird’s” stepson was diagnosed with Leukemia in December 2021. Through his diagnosis, the community, friends and family showed love for them.
To create a space of love and remembrance, Wandrey has decorative trees on the walls of the bakery. These are known as “The Love and Remembrance Trees.” The family’s hope is to fill the trees with birdhouses, to honor those who have died because of cancer and to show support to those who are fighting cancer.
Customers who make a donation are encouraged to take a birdhouse home to paint or decorate as they’d like. Once decorated, the customer can bring it back to be hung on the trees. Wandrey will be donating the raised funds to a different cancer research association each month.
While the family has faced hardships, Wandrey is looking forward to spreading her wings and having her business take off in Downtown Union Grove. She appreciates the support given to her family as they tackle this new endeavor.
Serving the small town
Baking Bird is open from 6:30 am until 4 pm, Wednesday through Sunday. The bakery operates on a “grab and go” system. Once you find something sweet to eat, you pay, and it’s prepared for you to take out of the shop. There is no table service.
The bakery’s menu is ever-changing, making each trip to the bakery a sweet surprise.
Favorites like bagels, cheesecakes, cream puffs, cookie bars, eclairs, whoopie pies, fudge, cake pops, pies, scones and more are served fresh daily.
“I’m excited to bring new and exciting treats as well as some old-school favorites to this wonderful small town,” Wandrey said.
Baking Bird’s grand opening success
While Wandrey is riding solo as the only baker, those hours waking up at 3 am to make sweet and savory treats paid off. On opening day, the bakery nearly sold out of its available products.
If you missed the opening, take it from those who were there. On Facebook, one person posted on the business page, “checked out Baking Bird this morning and it was so freaking good!!! Had a cinnamon roll that was amazing and a salted caramel bar that was equally delicious!!! Support this local business, they’re awesome!!!”
Another community member shared, “went to the Grand Opening of the Baking Bird Cafe and everything is DELICIOUS!! Congratulations!!” on Baking Bird’s Facebook page.
Want to try this spot for yourself? Now you can. Need more information about the bakery? Add Baking Bird on Facebook to read more about what’s happening in Union Grove and to see what’s cookin’.
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