Local baker looking to open downtown storefront

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dowagiac baker Jordan Anderson is looking to open a bakery downtown by year’s end. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

Dowagiac baker Jordan Anderson is looking to open a bakery downtown by year’s end. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

Since moving back home to Michigan nearly two years ago, Dowagiac’s Jordan Anderson has had a simple goal in mind — to make his community just a little bit “sweeter.”

Through hours of tireless work in the kitchen, strong word of mouth amongst his customers, and dozens upon dozens of sugary cookies, pastries and cupcakes, Anderson has more than accomplished this achievement.

Anderson’s baking business, The Baker’s Rhapsody, has grown tremendously since he began taking orders a few years ago, with his unique creations becoming a fixture at many weddings, birthday parties and other functions around the
Dowagiac area.

On top of such booming business, the opening of his own bakery would just be icing on the cake.

The local baker and chef is currently closing in on deal to acquire a downtown storefront for his growing business, Anderson said. Hoping to open by the fall, Anderson wants to create a bakery that will offer his breads and sweets to locals in a relaxed, all-inclusive atmosphere, he said.

“I want it to be a place where people can come, enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry, and hang out for a while,” Anderson said.

Anderson’s love of baking stems in part from his lifelong desire to express his creativity, he said. A native of South Haven, Anderson attended college at Central Michigan University, graduating with a degree in theater. Despite his passion for acting, he discovered shortly after graduating that he lacked a desire to pursue a full-time career in stage, he said.

“I like acting, and I’ll continue doing it for the rest of my life,” Anderson said. “But I like acting as hobby, not as a profession.”

Holding many jobs in the restaurant industry throughout his education, Anderson decided to give culinary school a shot instead, enrolling in a two-year program after moving to Arizona with a friend. Originally hoping to use the education as a launching pad into a career as a chef, Anderson soon found himself drawn to the oven versus the stovetop after taking a few baking classes in school.

Anderson loves the challenges that baking presents, from the precise ingredient measurements to the deft hand needed for many of its more intricate techniques, he said.

“It makes me feel like I’m performing magic,” he said. “It’s like mixing together all these potions and they come out as a cake.”

After spending several years working in kitchens in Arizona, Anderson decided to ply his newfound trade back home in Michigan, moving to Dowagiac to establish The Baker’s Rhapsody. Anderson’s business took off shortly after he settled in, spreading mostly through word of mouth, he said.

In between his full-time job working as a line chef at The Wood Fire and at Schu’s Grill and Bar in St. Joe, Anderson visits a kitchen he rents in Marcellus, baking everything from small scones to massive decorative wedding cakes for customers. He also spends a lot of his down time tinkering with new flavors at his kitchen back home, he said.

“I’m hard pressed to find a day where I don’t bake something,” Anderson said.

The baker became a fixture last year during the Dowagiac Farm and Artisan Market, which he plans to continue to attend when it reopens later this month he said.

A long awaited development for many residents, Anderson said he is eager to get to work on the opening his bakery.

“I’m excited to see where it goes after I open the doors for the first time,” Anderson said. “It’s something the community wants, and it’s something I want to give the community.”

For more information about The Baker’s Rhapsody, people can visit the company’s website at thebakersrhapsody.com, or call Anderson at (269) 767-1368.