The new space for Mill Pond Bread is aptly situated overlooking Sugarloaf Lake just outside of Chelsea. My friend Krystn grew up just across the lake and would boat over during the building's previous life as a run-down, smoky convenience store selling worms for bait right next to the gallons of milk. The smoke and the nightcrawlers are gone now, replaced by spicy baking smells wafting and soft music playing. Warm and welcoming, it somehow has the air of an artist's studio, flooded with natural light and organized with tools of the trade like old time wooden tables, giant mixers, cooling racks and professional knives lining the walls.
We had good chat with Esther Kapp, one of the bakers, who told us about how her dad helped start the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market back around 1919 when it was held on the courthouse grounds. And how her mother took the streetcar from Ypsilanti every week all the way to Detroit by herself with baskets of eggs to sell when she was just a teenage girl. For a few minutes I felt like I was in a Norman Rockwell painting. I like that feeling.
Not only were we in luck with the stories, we were also in luck with the baked goods. They didn't have things that were made that day, but they had a bunch from the day before. The day-old loaves are only $2 - including their excellent cherry-walnut bread, with cherries that taste like real sour cherries. And their day-old cookies were only $1 each. My favorites are the soft, thick, and chewy date walnut cookies. The brown sugar walnut bars are also wonderful. Need I mention these are good with coffee? Perhaps even for breakfast?
Mill Pond currently has open hours Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. It's worth the drive out AND it's right on the way to the Waterloo Farm Museum.