Avalon International Breads is opening a downtown store in Detroit, according to a Dec. 17 report in the Detroit News.

The 2,900-square-foot store will feature Avalon’s signature artisan breads and pastries, as well as an expanded breakfast, lunch and dinner menu.

“This is the perfect way to mark the beginning of a new chapter in Avalon’s history,” said Jackie Victor, who co-founded the business in 1997.

In June of 1997, Avalon pulled the first loaves of bread from its newly installed hearthstone oven in a small, converted storefront in the Cass Corridor of Detroit. Offering artisan baked goods made with 100% organic flour in the heart of Detroit may have seemed an improbable venture. Some looked at Detroit and saw economic distress, population exodus, crime, vacant land and abandoned buildings as obstacles too great for a small venture.

But Avalon’s owners saw the seeds of a transformation, with food growing on vacant land, small businesses filling unmet needs, artists thriving, and neighbors coming together to rebuild, renew and re-spirit the city from the ground up.