New businesses demonstrate downtown’s continual growth

Published 9:54 am Thursday, December 3, 2015

While the thermometers make their expected decline as we head deeper in the winter months, the buzz and activity around Front Street is heating up.

On Tuesday, local pastry chef extraordinaire Jordan Anderson celebrated the opening of the long awaited storefront for his bakery, The Baker’s Rhapsody, located next to Dowagiac IT3 and The Hairitage near the intersection of Front and Commercial streets. The new eatery offers a dining experience similar to popular coffee houses, with customers purchasing their choice of freshly baked breads, breakfast pastries, cookies, cakes and more, along with a cup of coffee and other hot beverages.

The bakery is the first of a pair of downtown openings being celebrated by the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce this week.

On Wednesday, members of the organization officially welcomed Fair’s Gun ‘n Gear into the central business district. The gun store, owned by Eric Fair and several of his brothers, opened for business on Nov. 18. It is located next to Sew Can You sewing school on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Both new businesses have generated their fair share of buzz before and following their openings. Posts about the two establishments on Facebook have received hundreds of likes, with many people commenting that they’d love to visit the stores when they get a chance.

Others have commented how great it is to see these types of businesses return to their hometown.

As 2015 comes to a close, we want to reflect on what a tremendous year it’s been in terms of growth on and around Front Street. In the past 12 months, a number of new businesses have opened or relocated to Dowagiac’s downtown — which offer everything from dog grooming, like Bow Wow Bakery & Bath to tradable cards, like Radiant Rogue Games, to a place to view unique pieces of art, like Art enah Suit.

These new establishments have added some diversity to the already strong offerings located in the area, and have already started attracting a new set of eyes (and wallets) to the city. For a place that was already a great location to eat, shop and live, these new businesses will ensure our beautiful downtown continues to grow and thrive in the years ahead.

We want to congratulate Anderson, Fair and the other owners who have taken the plunge this year with the opening of the stores, and we wish them luck in the years ahead. We also want to thank the members of the Dowagiac chamber and business community who continue to court new entrepreneurs into town and work to create an environment for continuing growth.

With the planned opening of the new Round Oak Revisited in the months to come, we’re optimistic downtown is due for another banner year in 2016.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.