What locals may remember as the "Gathering Place" is taking on an updated look, and a new purpose, in downtown Albany.
The Bread House and Granary, a bakery formally on Dawson Road, has opened inside a 108-year-old-building at the corner of Jefferson and Tift.
It's a move that is bringing the bakery closer to its purpose of serving women in recovery.
"This building was built in 1908, everything here is still original, except for the kitchen," said Tyler Carlisle, an employee at the Bread House. "The old building (on Dawson Road) could fit inside this kitchen."
The new commercial kitchen will bake items for sale, as well as provide pies, breads and granola for Sunnyland Farms.
There is even a front room in the building where Sunnyland's pecans will be sold. "We have have teamed up with them," said Carlisle.
Brittany Thorne is the owner of Vardo, an upscale boutique featuring local artisans and on-trend clothes.
Thorne, an Albany native, says the inviting space, with a large, open renovation, retail shopping, a juice bar and bakery, will serve to bring people together, "I feel like Albany is rich with so much, we have so much talent here, and not as many opportunities to enjoy it."
Just up the block on Tift Avenue is the Graceway Recovery Residence for Women.
"There are so many women (suffering from substance abuse), no matter their socioeconomic status, race or culture. Addiction does not discriminate," says Shannon Burke, the Program Director at Graceway. Burke called female substance abuse an "epidemic".
All the yummy Bread House made food purchased will go toward running the Recovery Residence a few steps away, and even employee some women in recovery, too.
"The proceeds from the Bread House go back to Graceway. It provides funds for our scholarship programs helping women who don't have the resources for the treatment they need," says Burke.
Although the Bread House proceeds haven't been enough to cover the costs of running the program so far, there is greater hope, with the new, larger facility, and increased orders, it will.
"And, not just to provide for Graceway, but expand the program and provide more for the residents we have now," says Burke.
The Bread House and Granary is open, with only limited baked items for sale, as they prepare for the Grand Opening May 21st.
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