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The Breadstand

Maplewood, NJ, USA

Project Description

We love clients with great vision. The client purchased a vacant convenience store property with the dream of creating a neighborhood bakery specializing in artisanal breads and coffee, but the building was in rough shape after years of neglect. The project started with a complete gutting of the building down to framing to make way for a completely new bakery interior. MRVN created a design featuring a front café space that was fully open into the rear kitchen and bakery area to accentuate the length and scale of the space despite the somewhat narrow width of the existing building. An open and inviting serving counter complete with coffee, espresso, and tea service, was installed that divided the front café from the rear kitchen and bakery. New skylights were installed to allow natural light to enter the café and work areas to create a warm and bright feel inside despite the windowless nature of the building. Great bread requires talent, skill, and precision when preparing dough before baking. At the Breadstand, this is done in a separate climate-controlled dough room that was designed to the client’s exacting specifications.


Other improvements to the building included the installation of a new roll-up door in the front wall of the building, allowing the café’s storefront to be opened to the exterior during times of good weather. The storefront also received new cedar accent trim, making it unique in appearance when compared to adjacent entryways. Finally, the originally bland brick wall along the side of the building was painted with a custom mural by a local artist, creating an exciting and dynamic façade that announces the unique and creative space (and food!) inside the building.


The Breadstand served a catalyst for the surrounding neighborhood, activating it and giving the local community a unique landmark to call their own. Great vision indeed.

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