It was the unique design of the former Ashland Place Fire Station No. 12 that caught the eye of Paula Bentley, a co-owner of local bakery Bake My Day. A few days later she and the three other owners were touring the building and making plans.
The bakery will open its new location in early 2020, Bentley said, and the shop will move its kitchen into the new building because there’s more space. Its current location near the intersection of Spring Hill and McGregor avenues will become more like a satellite spot.
Bentley, Pam Roberts and Liz Harbin, who own the bakery along with Rebecca Springer, wanted more of a neighborhood feel. The new location will allow them to be open on Saturdays.
“There’s a lot of weekend activity in that corridor near Florida and Old Shell,” Bentley said. “We’re going to open a bit earlier, too.”
The extra space will allow the group of owners to enlarge a dining area, including a large communal table in the center. The space will include indoor and outdoor seating, a fire pit, lawn games and other amenities. The bakery will also be equipped to serve coffee and will offer breakfast-type items, but not a full breakfast menu, Bentley said.
The decision to move the bakery’s “headquarters” was not made lightly, as Roberts acknowledged “very loyal customers” at the Spring Hill location, but the shop had simply outgrown its current location.
“We don’t know how we’re going to address this yet,” Bentley said. “The fire house will become our main location. This one could be a satellite location.”
The new location will allow for better customer service, Harbin said, and a larger area for shipments from an online store. Last year, the bakery shipped 15,000 cookies and hopes to increase that productivity.
As for the historic building itself, the improvements will aim to protect the fire station’s historic character, Lafayette Land Company co-owner and CEO Bob Isakson told Lagniappe in a phone interview.
“It’s going to look exactly like it looked originally from the outside,” Isakson said.
One significant change to the building, Isakson said, will be the replacement of the large fire station front door, which will make way for a more business-friendly design. The changes will also include redesigned landscaping out front with a nod to gardens and more scenic spaces.
“Other than that, the building will look the same,” Isakson added.
The city sold the fire station to Lafayette in February of this year for $368,850, and requested the building’s buyer maintain its historic value. Isakson said the company plans to do that.
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