Clementine’s Pastries, a new bakery in downtown Mount Clemens, was in a smooth opening phase on Christmas Eve when a local business owner stopped by to check out the place.
The businessman expressed his admiration for what store owners Melissa and David Lavender had done by transforming the 1,800-square-foot grocery store into a pastry kitchen with retail space.
What happened next left the Lavenders speechless.
âHe walked in and said he wanted to buy everything we had cooked that day and everything we were going to do for the rest of the day,â Melissa Lavender said Wednesday.
âI was just in shock. It was a good dilemma to have, but then he explained that he wasn’t going to take it all. He would buy everything and give it to us for free in our registry. I thought it was super cool.
Customers who came to the store would select what they wanted and then, when it came time to pay, found that the price had already been paid. In addition, the Lavenders brought bakery products to neighboring businesses.
In total, the mysterious businessman bought around $ 3,000 worth of baked goods – and goodwill – from Clementine’s Pastries. This benevolent act introduced the Lavenders to the kind of people who reside and work in Mount Clemens.
The businessman refused to be identified publicly.
âWe didn’t realize how much of a community downtown is,â said Melissa Lavender. “We had heard about it, but now it’s so clear.”
The Lavenders, who live in Mount Clemens with their two children, had a similar mindset when setting up the store. For example, on their website, the couple includes nearby shops, restaurants and parking lots to welcome visitors to the county seat.
âWe are local to Mount Clemens and believe in its resurgence,â said David Lavender, who also works in education.
âThe Mayor (Laura) Kropp does a great job and she wants us to not only be successful, but also be good neighbors and develop relationships so that the people who live here and visit here can have the best experience.”
That’s great news, according to Michelle Weiss of the Downtown Development Authority and former store owner in Mount Clemens.
âClementine’s has really added another element to our downtown area,â she said.
Clementine’s Pastries – named after Melissa ClÃ©mentine’s grandmother and inspired by her mother, Denise – is a clean, bright place that has a Parisian cafe vibe.
Located in the former Gemini Moon space on Macomb Place, the store contains an open kitchen with large windows so passers-by can see what’s going on inside.
They make a variety of pastries and baked goods, such as croissants, bear claws, French peppermint macaroons, fruit pies, cranberry muffins, blueberry muffins, cannoli, Vegan Oreo cookies and vegan chocolate cookies.
On the retail side, they have paintings, flowerpots, and other items created by Melissa and other artists.
Melissa Lavender, who has a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University and a master’s degree from Marygrove College, was working as a pastry chef for Morning Glory Coffee & Pastries at Grosse Pointe Farms when the pandemic took hold. Wondering where life would take her next, her husband came up with the idea of ââopening their own pastry shop in the town where they live.
âHe said ‘I know what you’re going to do’ and that was the starting point,â she said.
Clementine’s Pastries has received rave reviews on social media and in-person customers. The owners say they plan to fully open in the New Year.
âWe are so happy to be here and completely overwhelmed with the response we have received so far,â said Melissa Lavender.
Her husband added, âTo see families walking around, going from place to place in a community, you can walk in with all the lights on, stop and have a coffee at Black Cat Coffee, or go to a restaurant. destination pastry shop, or check out the vinyl at Weirdsville Records or a beautiful garment from Max & Ollie’s.
“How cool is that?
Clementine’s Pastries is located at 57 Macomb Place, Mount Clemens. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 586-477-0359 or visit clementinespastries.com.