Bakery opens with plans to expand

It?s been quite sometime since the city of Marion welcomed a stand-alone bakery to the community, but on Aug. 16 Gretchen?s Taste of Heaven opened its doors at 113 S. Freeborn.

Open seven days a week, owner Gretchen Unruh, 51, said she is excited about her new business.

?I have always wanted to have a bakery,? she said.

She also wanted to thank Todd Heitschmidt, Central National Bank, and Doug Kjellin, city of Marion Econo?mic Development for their encouragement and help with funding and a business plan respectively.

Currently, she offers a wide variety of homemade pastries, breads, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, pies, turnovers and breakfast specials.

Other bakery items made from scratch include Swedish Limpa, a sweet rye bread; onion buns; dinner rolls; muffins and whatever else ?pops in my head,? she said.

Unruh will also make just about any kind of pie to order such as chocolate cream, various fruit pies or specialty cakes for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations or other milestones.

Customers can either make their selections to go or stay and eat in the restaurant.

Breakfast is served from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the menu includes biscuits and gravy, pancakes, breakfast tacos, burritos sausage, bacon, ham, hashbrowns, eggs and choice of muffins, croissants or other baked items in several combinations.

Prices for breakfast range from $2 to $5.

Starting in mid-September and during her open house planned Sept. 11, Unruh said she will expand her menu by serving lunch.

?Lunch will be a one-plate special,? she said.

Some meal ideas she is considering are homemade soups and salads, bierrocks, roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon and onions, desserts and rolls.

?The restaurant can seat 12 people inside, and we do have picnic tables outside,? she said, ?or people can do call-in orders or take food to go.?

No stranger to food service, Unruh has learned the ?ins and outs? of both the retail- and business-side of the operation through years of working for other people and places.

Her other job experiences have taught her aspects of the catering business to help with weddings or other special events.

Her expertise extends to decorating churches, receptions, professional gatherings and more.

?I have a lot of my own equipment for catering events,? she said about table skirting, silk flowers, etcetera.

Unruh has enjoyed learning from the other businesses she worked for, but dreamed of one day owning her own.

Before opening her business, she was catering director at Bethel College, was in food service at Tabor College, cooked at the Kirby House in Abilene and Water?s Edge in Hesston, helped open the kitchen at Marion Assisted Living and much more.

She said she worked at flower shops, other restaurants and in the deli-bakery department at Carlson?s grocery.

?Each different job acquainted me with different people and helped me learn so much,? she said.

The bakery/restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday.

For more information, call Unruh at 316-804-9356.

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