November 1, 2014

Standish Bakery closes its doors after 72 years

By Lauren Begley
Staff Writer | reporter@arenacindependent.com
Posted

STANDISH — Four generations have come and gone since the Standish Bakery and Restaurant first opened its doors in 1937, but Jan. 31 was the last day of business for owners Phil and Mary Ann Pelton.

Mary Ann said that multiple factors contributed to the closing, including the general downturn in the economy, the increased water bill, and two waitresses leaving, one retired and one injured.

The Peltons are also celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year, and they have spent most of their time with the bakery, never spending much time getting out and traveling together, Mary Ann said.

“We’re beginning a new chapter in our lives,” she said.

Mary Ann’s father, Joseph Kolevar, bought the restaurant’s building in 1937. Mary Ann and Phil eventually bought the bakery from her father, and Phil became the baker in 1965.

All of the five Pelton children have worked in the bakery at some point in their lives. The sons worked in the bakery, while the daughters worked as waitresses.

One of the Pelton’s sons, Perry, owns Wheelers Restaurant. Some items, like Phil’s chicken noodle soup, might move next door to Perry’s restaurant.

Neighboring businesses are sad to see the bakery close down.

Ruth Caldwell, owner of neighboring Pleasantries Gift Shoppe, said she hopes someone buys the building.

“It’s a landmark,” she said.

Caldwell said she grew up in the Standish community, and the bakery has always been around and was part of her childhood.

She also said that everything has slowed down, especially since the prison closed, and the winter season is already a slow time for Standish. However, one issue that leads to businesses like the bakery closing is that there are not enough people shopping locally, Caldwell said.

Amber Mezey, owner of Bushwackerz Salon and Spa, said she also noticed a change in business when the prison closed.

“We took a big hit,” she said.

Mezey said her business has been able to survive because she runs specials often.

She also said she knows many people who go to the Standish Bakery and Restaurant every week, whether it be every Tuesday morning or every Wednesday afternoon.

“They have the best brownies,” Mezey said.

Mary Ann spent the last weekend with the bakery surrounded by friends and family. Her sister flew up from Maryland on Friday, and two of her brothers planned to come later in the weekend, she said.

The Peltons do not have any definite future plans, but Mary Ann said they are going to look to the bakery closing as another step in their lives.

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