As quickly as James Grant accepted a job in Cleveland in 2012 and moved his household to the world from Kansas, he and his spouse, Estra, instantly turned concerned within the Jewish neighborhood.
However when he misplaced his job in 2018, the household confronted a serious transition interval. That’s when the couple determined to turn into enterprise homeowners.
On Jan. 1, the couple bought Stone Oven Wholesale Bakery, which was previously a part of Stone Oven Bakery & Cafes. The bakery is at 2111 E. 36th St. in Cleveland.
Estra Grant mentioned the transfer and transition have been straightforward, particularly due to the sturdy Jewish neighborhood in Cleveland. The household got here from a small city in Kansas that didn’t have the Jewish interactions they have been in search of.
“Fairly actually, we have been thrilled to maneuver to Cleveland,” she mentioned. “We have been dwelling in Lawrence, Kan., which is a university city. That was an awesome, enjoyable place, nevertheless it didn’t have the sturdy, cohesive Jewish neighborhood we have been trying to find. We needed to commute to Kansas Metropolis (about 40 miles away) for our Jewish neighborhood. So, once we discovered about all of the cultural facets of Cleveland, we have been so excited to maneuver right here and haven’t been disenchanted in any respect.”
After her husband was laid off, Grant mentioned the Beachwood couple wished to remain in Cleveland and seek for a brand new enterprise.
“Cleveland seems like our dwelling now,” mentioned Grant, a member of Park Synagogue in Cleveland Heights and Pepper Pike. “That was actually it. We simply thought of it and noticed we had great buddies right here and a beautiful neighborhood we obtained concerned in. We really feel like Cleveland is such an awesome place to stay. So, we wished to discover a cause to remain right here. I additionally really feel like my husband, James, and I have been prepared to vary gears somewhat bit and tackle a brand new problem.”
Buying the bakery was not their fast thought.
“It was an evolution,” Grant mentioned. “At first, James regarded for comparable positions and was doing a nationwide search, however he wasn’t arising with something good. However in all his networking, he was speaking to lots of people and it obtained in our heads that we must always discover a enterprise that in the first place, he was going to run it after which we determined we’d do it collectively. So, by August 2018, we have been formally in search of one thing and this got here alongside. It was precisely what we have been in search of.
“I’ve discovered the ins and outs of operating a enterprise that’s in operation just about 24/7. That’s an enormous change. We’ve additionally met so many extremely attention-grabbing folks, each staff and prospects. I’ve additionally discovered my manner across the metropolis of Cleveland and might drive wherever now. As for James and I, we each felt that we had a variety of the mandatory capability to run a enterprise although we hadn’t performed it earlier than. So, we knew we’d be a great staff and that has turned out to be the case.”
The bakery gives wholesale artisan breads to native government cooks, caterers, grocers and restaurateurs.
“It’s the concept each morning there’s a lot baked bread that has been created, and it’s a course of from mixing to packaging, and there’s a tangible product,” she mentioned. “However, I additionally take pleasure in speaking with our prospects and assembly prospects. I additionally take pleasure in working with our staff of proficient bakers and devoted folks.”
With hopes of increasing sooner or later, Grant mentioned proudly owning the bakery along with her husband has been rewarding.
“It has had us extra immersed in Cleveland,” she mentioned. “Between all of the great cooks that we’ve met and the restaurateurs, the grocers and the folks, we’re turning into embedded within the Cleveland neighborhood as an entire. We’re a Jewish couple operating this enterprise and it brings these two issues, Cleveland and Judaism, collectively.”