One of my favorite places in the city of Detroit has been Avalon International Breads. Their Cass Corridor bakery has been in WDET’s backyard for decades. It was such a comfort when I started back in 2009, to have that little place to go to before and after my shift. And I know I share those sentiments about how special that place has been with so many people.
In January, the Avalon announced that they’ll be moving out of their flagship café on West Willis Street to share a space with Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery on West Canfield, just steps away from their first kitchen. That new location will be officially opening its doors on Wednesday, March 1 at 7 a.m., featuring a “Cookie Cutting Ceremony” at 8:30 a.m. and 25¢ Sea Salt Chocolate Chunk Cookies on sale until 3 p.m. to celebrate. After that, Avalon on Canfield will be open with new coffee and food menus on Mondays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
I was joined by Avalon co-founder and my long-time friend, Jackie Victor, on the last weekend that the Willis Street location was open to chat about what we can expect from the new location and to swap stories about the profound impact the bakery has had on the Detroit community since opening in 1997.
“That is a moment in my mind where I went, ‘Something special is happening here.’ Because people don’t take care of each other the way we have been taken care of, in the universe that most people live in. This is a really, really a special place. There’s a lot a lot of stories like that.” — Jackie Victor, Avalon co-founder