Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bakeries and Bikes in Kalamazoo

This week is Kalamazoo Bike Week so it's a great time to visit our local trails.  The newest section of the KRVT offers several places to stop for a snack.  It's hard to beat a bike ride and a cookie on a Spring day.  

I'm not sure if bakeries were a criterion when the planners selected the route for the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, but it almost seems that way.  The section from Comstock to Parchment is particularly rich in baked goods.

Bert's Bakery in Comstock is just across the bridge from the eastern end of the KRVT.  The front of the shop is full of potpourri-type gifts, but if you walk past all that you will see two glass counters full of sweets.  Bert's offers a full selection of the usual cookies like peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chip, frosted sugar, or brownies but they also have some unusually tasty fruit-filled cookies.  These are almost like really flat pies, with a thin layer of fruit filling between cookie crusts.  They come in a variety of flavors: apple, almond, cherry, raspberry, blueberry, etc.  I don't know if they bake bread and I haven't tried their cake but the cookies are good.  (From their website, it appears that they make a lot of wedding cakes.)  You can enjoy your cookies on a bench outside the shop or cross the street to Merrill Park.
Bert's Bakery
309 River Street
Kalamazoo, MI  49048

MacKenzie's Bakery is about 4 miles from Bert's at the edge of downtown Kalamazoo.  It's directly across the street from the trail and it offers a wide variety of treats.  This is MacKenzie's main kitchen that bakes for its retail outlets on Westnedge and West Main.  I enjoy their cookies, donuts, pastries, brownies, and bread.  They also serve sandwiches, if you want a meal.  They have tables inside and outside.  It's my most frequent stop on the KVRT.
MacKenzie's Bakery
527 Harrison
Kalamazoo MI 49007

Sarkosy's Bakery is my favorite bakery in Kalamazoo, particularly for breads.  The original bakery closed after a fire and is in the process of raising money to move to a new location [update: Sarkosy's is open in a new spacious setting.].  The bakery is in Kalamazoo not far from MacKenzie's.  This is the bakery for bread; their oatmeal bread has been the default bread at our house for years.  Cheese crowns, cookies, and other sweets make great snacks.  (And, during Mardi Gras season, their paczkis are legendary.)  The trail isn't clearly defined through downtown, relying on sidewalks and back streets to connect the paved section along the river to the paved section that starts at Westnedge.  In any case, the short detour to Sarkosy's will be worth it.
Sarkosy Bakery
350 E Michigan Ave  [new location]
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Continuing a few miles north on the trail, brings us to Parchment and Renzema's bakery.  Renzema's is an old-fashioned place near the trail.  I often park nearby and it would be a great stop for a doughnut if they were open later in the day.  For me the problem is timing.  Renzema's is open from midnight to noon and I'm often there in the afternoon.  If you are there in the morning (or late at night), it's worth a stop.  I'm not really a fan of their bread and their cookies are nothing special (but they are inexpensive.) I do recommend the donuts.
Renzema's Bakery
214 Link Ln
Parchment, MI 49004

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