The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

June 12, 2013

Under new ownership

By HOWARD BALABAN howard.balaban@journal-register.com
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — When Dave and Bonnie Reigle opened up their Main Street location a little over a year ago, the idea was to promote the produce grown on their farm. One thing they did not offer at their produce stand on Ridge Road was an assortment of baked goods.

That entered the picture last spring when Reigle’s on Main welcomed the public. As it turned out, the couple wound up the victims of their own success.

“Things are going awesome, but that’s why we have to sell,” said Bonnie Reigle. “The bakery took off like we never anticipated. We’re farmers at heart, not bakers, and we just couldn’t keep up.”

Reigle said the bakery was originally supposed to be a side business meant to complement the produce. Customers bought the breads at an overwhelming rate, though, which led to the decision to sell the business. The new owners — Lissa Stewart-Jones and Lori Brien, both Medina natives — will be able to focus more on the baking, Reigle said.

“It’s not my passion to bake all day, so we looked to pass it along,” she said. A simple Facebook post alerting people to the business being up for sale elicited quite a reaction.

“People seem to love the concept here and they don’t want it to leave,” she said.

Stewart-Jones and Brien have known each other since childhood and have been friends with Reigle for years. Stewart-Jones said she texted Brien immediately after reading the Facebook post.

“I told her, ‘Reigle’s up for sale, can dreams really come true?…’ and by the next day we decided to do it,” she recalled. “We really enjoy baking and cooking, and this is an opportunity that presented itself.” 

Reigle’s on Main will close on June 22 for a few weeks while Stewart-Jones and Brien finalize their purchase of the store. Their goal is to reopen in early July with a few minor changes.

“We’re bringing in some new recipes,” Stewart-Jones said. She joked that both her family and Brien’s family have been taste-testers in the past few weeks, and members on both sides have claimed they have gained at least 25 pounds in the process.

Along with the new recipes, the old ones will also remain. “We’ll try new things, but we’ll maintain the staples,” Stewart-Jones stated. “We were lucky because we did get Bonnie to give us the recipes for the breads, scones, cinnamon rolls, etc. And I’m so grateful for the scones because I’m a big fan, myself.

“Plus we’ll probably both bring in some different family recipes, too,” she continued. Some specialty baked goods catering to those with certain dietary needs will also likely be available in the future. 

The locally grown produce from Reigle’s Farm will likely still be available, as well as other local products, as is currently the case.

As of now, the new name for the business when it reopens is The Bread Basket. And the new owners will be simply thrilled to be on Main Street.

“If there was a word to use better than ecstatic, that’s what we’d use,” said Stewart-Jones. “When I was a little girl and went downtown, every storefront was occupied. Medina was thriving. Now we’re so excited to be part of the upswing…we couldn’t be happier,” she added.

Over the past year, Reigle’s on Main has participated in Ale in Autumn, Wine About Winter, and several other Medina Business Association events. Stewart-Jones said she and Brien eagerly anticipate continuing that participation streak because meeting new people is part of the allure of having a Main Street business.

As for Reigle, leaving Main Street was not part of her original plan. “We’d be splitting ourselves to keep this going, so we decided to focus on our passion, which is the farm,” she said.

Reigle predicted her friends will “do awesome” once the sale is complete.

“The idea is they love what we’ve been doing, and they’re not making any drastic changes but just adding their own flare,” she explained. “I think people will be happy, especially since they’re getting the recipes we were using.”

While Stewart-Jones and Brien said they looked forward to meeting new people, Reigle said that was probably what she was going to miss the most.

“I’ll miss the customers because they’ve been phenomenal,” she said. “The whole community welcomed us with open arms, and I’ll miss the camaraderie of the Main Street businesses.

“But I am looking forward to being a customer,” Reigle added. Then she laughed, “In fact, maybe I should have worked that into the deal: get a free loaf of bread a week.”