Rick StiebelThe Chronicle
Old Town Bakery has practically doubled in size to add new treats to its expanding repertoire.
Geoff and Kate Cram, who have owned the business for 14 years, recently took over the space next door in the same building on First Avenue that has been home to a bakery for the past 84 years.
“We’ve added a coffee bar and gone from 12 to 24 seats and added another cash register so hopefully our customers won’t have to line up outside anymore,” Geoff said.
Old Town Bakery is renowned for its award-winning cinnamon buns, selling 46 dozen on a busy day.
The couple are busy adding a kitchen in the old bakery and plan to offer an expanded menu by November, Kate said. “We’re going to have a lot more breakfast and lunch items and hope to enhance our takeout as well,” she said.
Other new features include a focus on bringing in displays by local artists. “That’s an important part of our efforts to support local artists and community engagement,” she said.
They have also added free Wifi and USB plugs for their customers.
The Crams are sponsoring two Red Seal apprentices, which would bring the total in the bakery to five.
“That’s pretty unique for a small town,” she noted.
Old Town Bakery currently has more than 20 full and part-time positions.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to support trades and create jobs for the community,” Geoff said.
They aim to have all of the renovations for the expanded operations completed and the new staff trained and running smoothly in time for the annual Ladysmith Festival of Lights Light-Up at the end of November, Geoff said.
“That’s the 14th anniversary of when we took over the business,” Kate explained.
“It will be nice to be able to keep our customers happy and put out more product in a nicer setting,” Geoff said.
The couple said using local contractors has been a priority for them.
“That’s important to us,” Geoff said. “This wouldn’t have happened without them.”
“Friends and family have been a huge help as well,” Kate said.