LEWISTON — Dara Reimers searched up and down Lisbon Street for a spot to open The Bread Shack before heading to Auburn five years ago.
She never quite gave up, and now, she's got just the spot: Reimers is moving into the Local Grind inside Rainbow Bicycle, tentatively renaming it The Bread Shack Downtown, and bringing her pastries, baguettes, soups and sandwiches with her.
"I worked so hard to create this and I'm now rested and ready to expand," she said.
The Local Grind closed Tuesday and the new shop will open in its place Aug. 30, she hopes, in time for Art Walk Lewiston-Auburn.
Reimers, named Pastry Chef of the Year in May by the Maine chapter of the American Culinary Federation, said business has grown steadily but likely has peaked on outer Center Street. She had been after more work space and another retail outlet.
"I've been agonizing about how to expand The Bread Shack," she said. "The very day I let go of the expansion of a local production facility, John (Grenier) and I talked about my taking over the Local Grind so it was very serendipitous for me."
Grenier spent last year renovating the 100-year-old space at 97 Lisbon St. and opened the bike shop and cafe in December.
"She's obviously an expert at what she does," Grenier said. "We know bicycles; we don't really know cafes. Everything we were doing, she's going to be doing a better job of it."
Reimers plans a few changes to the decor, taking out a conference table toward the back and creating a lounge space for customers to relax with couches and WiFi. The front end will have seating for 25 and there also will be sidewalk seating.
It'll have an expanded lunch menu as well as fresh-made breads, pastries and a daily soup. Sandwiches will be both grab-and-go and made-to-order. Her current lunch menu includes a Brie and Green Apple sandwich on a baguette for $6.75 and a Curry Chicken Salad on Miller's grain bread for $7.25. Reimers said she tries to source ingredients as local as possible.
The original Bread Shack will stay open, slowly removing some seating to make way for more storage space. She'll do most of the baking for both locations there.
With only 500 square feet of kitchen and storage, "We are tripping over ourselves back here," she said Wednesday.
Reimers plans to keep the coffee service started by the Local Grind going, and bake some sweets, such as cookies, at the Lisbon Street location.
"My whole motive is the smell — it smells like a bike shop down there," Reimers said.
Early plans are for The Bread Shack Downtown to be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. six days a week. She may also open Sundays for brunch.
Reimers said she's excited to be closer to Bates College and to market to that crowd. She's also encouraged by the number of people living downtown.
"I've loved Lisbon Street since I moved here 10 years ago," Reimers said. "It just tells me it's time that Lisbon Street is going to pop."