Dowagiac bakery creates Front Street using gingerbread

DOWAGIAC — A local bakery’s latest project puts a tasty spin on the downtown Dowagiac strip.

The Baker’s Rhapsody, 144 S. Front St., Dowagiac, has completed its gingerbread house replica of downtown Front Street in Dowagiac.

From D&R Sports, 238 S. Front St., Dowagiac, all the way down to Bakeman Barbers, 101 S. Front St., Dowagiac, the replica puts a tasty spin on the downtown strip.

Owner Jordan Anderson and his husband Hector Rivas have been working on the project in various phases since before Thanksgiving weekend.

“He’s the cookie decorator,” Anderson said. “He does all the cookies in the store and really wanted to do a gingerbread downtown. We thought this would be a pretty cool community project. We needed space to fill since we don’t have seating right now, so we thought this would be a nice display that represents the whole community.”

The gingerbread sections depicting each building were baked to scale and the icing was used to highlight building facade features like business names and windows.

“I went down and took photos of all of the buildings,” Rivas said. “I did some google map aerial images to map out how big the buildings are.”

The couple said they plan on displaying the project through January.

“We’re going to add snow fabric in front of it and we’re going to put little twinkly lights underneath the fabric to make it look like a snowy town,” Rivas said.

“It’s wintery and not so much ‘Christmas-ey’,” Anderson said. “We think that allows us to display the piece in the building past Christmas for everyone to enjoy.”

Anderson and Rivas hope the display brings community members and local business owners some cheer amid a winter season that has been tough on businesses.

“A lot of our regulars are business owners downtown,” Anderson said. Today was the first day we’ve had it up. They’re coming in and seeing their stores displayed, which has been fun to see.”

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