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Kalona just isn’t the same without a downtown bakery. That was the consensus of members of the Kalona Economic Development Group, who met Friday, Oct. 20.
But, there are some hurdles to reopening any business in the bakery’s old building, Kalona City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said.
“It’s a little rough in there right now, the building is in a partial-demolition state,” he said. “In order to move something in there the building in it’s current condition would have to be brought up to 100 percent code compliance.”
Schlabaugh said he had heard a desire for a downtown bakery and eatery from the Kalona community.
Nathan Miller, who owns Golden Delight Bakery in Kalona, said he agreed with Schlabaugh and wouldn’t mind seeing a similar business open up.
“I think Kalona is big enough where we both would be busy,” Miller said.
Miller said the old Kalona Bakery and Golden Delight had different niches as well, with the Kalona Bakery being more involved in commercial and wholesale. While Golden Delight was set up for retail, Miller said.
“No two places are going to be alike,” he said. “As part of the community, they really left a void when they left.”
Kalona business owner Steve Yotty agreed with Miller, and said downtown Kalona isn’t the same without the bakery.
“When the bakery was open, the street would be packed when I got to work in the morning,” Yotty said. “Now I’m one of the only people there.”
Schlabaugh said the City was waiting to see what Jonathan Troyer, who owns the building, decides to do with it.
On the Bunker Mill Bridge, Schlabaugh said both the City Council and County had expressed zero interest in owning the bridge, due to the insurance being too expensive. Kalona Mayor Ken Herington echoed this and said the city had no desire to own a bridge that’s outside of city limits.