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Local bakery and deli delivers sweet homemade treats to Bruins

Local bakery and deli Gristmill is owned by a relative of Bear River Alumni Hunter Smith. Photo by Sonora Slater

Cookies, doughnuts, cakes, oh my! Local bakery and deli called Gristmill, owned by the grandmother of Bear River Alumni Hunter Smith has been a hit among many students. 

Gristmill Bakery and Deli was opened by Michele Lord in January of 1992, in the shopping center by Lake of the Pines. 

Ms. Lord shed light on the meaning of her business’s name. 

“A gristmill is a flour mill powered by a water wheel, and it seemed appropriate and thematic,” she said. 

Ms. Lord was motivated to open her own business and was ready for the responsibilities it entailed. 

“I always wanted to be my own boss, and I knew how to do that,” said Ms. Lord. “I am the baker. I’m the cake decorator. I’m the bookkeeper. I’m not the candlestick maker.”

An example of following your dreams, she grew up knowing what she loved to do. 

“I grew up in a big family,” said Ms. Lord. “I used to make pies and chocolate chip cookies. I used to sell brownies and cookies at the corner store.”

In October 2017, the location moved but stayed local. 

“It was close to our original location, it was available and the landlords were really welcoming,” said Ms. Lord. “It affected it in a positive way, because it was in the same neighborhood so it wasn’t real dramatic. The clientele changed a little bit and we were busier.” 

Bruins like Senior Lydia Fuller-Hall said that they love going to Gristmill because of the genuine homemade items.  

“I love Gristmill because it’s a nice, local business that makes their own genuinely good pastries and drinks that they make themselves,” said Fuller-Hall. 

Others, including Sophomore Jolie Hurd and Junior Micah Brown go because of the happy welcoming atmosphere. 

“I do like the Gristmill Bakery because it is such a welcoming place and they have great baked goods,” said Hurd. 

“I like to go to Gristmill Bakery because they are always so nice,” said Brown. 

Out of the entire menu, everyone who goes there has a favorite item. 

“I always got their smoothies there, wildberry, because it was super good, not too sweet,” said Fuller-Hall. 

Other Bruins enjoy their smoothies as well. 

“My favorite thing to get there is a strawberry smoothie,” said Brown. 

Hurd preferred a unique donut. 

“Their donuts, specifically their chocolate pretzel donuts,” she said. “Just because the donut is so nice and fluffy and it’s super sweet and I love sweets.”

Ms. Lord even had a favorite item on her menu. 

“My iced cut out cookies, and that’s the thing I sell the most of,” she said. “My ‘crack’ cookies… they have been called.”

An important factor of some Bruins’ support is the fact that it is locally owned and run. 

“I love going to local small businesses because it’s putting money towards bettering the community there and it’s usually so much better than big international organizations,” said Fuller-Hall. 

“I do like local small businesses because they’re not as hyped, and you can get to know them personally and I think they’re just more homey,” said Hurd. 

“I enjoy supporting local businesses, because I know that it will go to something good instead of a big company,” said Brown.

Ms. Lord commented on what she loved most about her job. 

“I like it when people like what I do,” she said. “The accolades.”

She went on to joke about what kind of cookie she would be. 

“I’d be a snickerdoodle because I’m sweet and spicy,” Ms. Lord said. 

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Local bakery and deli delivers sweet homemade treats to Bruins