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Bell Street, Garden Bistro plan merger
by AMANDA WINTERS
Two of Sequim’s downtown eateries are merging in a business move owners hope will enhance the best aspects of Bell Street Bakery and the Garden Bistro.
Henry Bridger and David Johnson, who opened the Garden Bistro at Washington Street and Sequim Avenue in February, will move their operations to the retail section of Bell Street Bakery starting Oct. 1 and within six months will take over management of the bakery from the Baritelle family.
“We’re hoping to keep the Washington and Sequim location open seasonally through spring and summer every year and make it a focus for the community to utilize the space for public or private events,” Bridger said.
A new parent company, Dungeness Valley Milling Company, will form with the Garden Bistro and Dungeness Valley Bakery Company operating beneath it. The Bell Street Bakery label and brand will continue for breads, pastas and other items to be sold wholesale to local restaurants and grocery stores.
“People know that name,” Bridger said. “They know that brand.”
Bridger said the bistro started getting its sandwich bread from Bell Street Bakery and through talks with the owners found they needed help making some changes to the business.
“It just seemed to be a natural fit that we would partner,” he said.
Bridger said the Garden Bistro has outgrown its spot on the corner of Sequim’s busiest intersection and needed a place with indoor seating for the winter.
“Everyone’s been asking, ‘What are you going to do in the winter?’” he said.
The bistro also will serve as a walk-up deli with meats, cheeses and fresh-baked breads, pastas and baked goods. A full kitchen is planned for construction in what is now the retail side of Bell Street Bakery.
“The focus for us and the Baritelle family is local ingredients,” Bridger said.
The new business created from the merger will continue focusing on Sequim and the community but will change the focus of the bakery, making it full-service, and bringing in some new life, he said.
“We’re excited,” Bridger said. “It’s a big step.”
Reach Amanda Winters at sequimgazette.com.