VICKSBURG, MI – Vicksburg native Chris Moore has acquired the assets of Kalamazoo’s recently shuttered MacKenzie’s Bakery from Water Street Coffee Joint owner Mark Smutek. As a result of the deal, which was finalized April 19, Moore now owns the famous bakery’s brand, recipes and equipment, all of which will be incorporated into a new company that will focus on producing wholesale bread to area retailers and restaurants.
Mackenzies Vicksburg intends to open later in 2021 at a Moore-owned property, 103 E. Prairie Street, in downtown Vicksburg. The 1,700-square-foot location will primarily serve as a kitchen and distribution facility, but the bakery may eventually offer retail products via a small storefront space. The building is attached to 101 E. Prairie, which Moore also owns. The facades of the adjoining two-story buildings have been painstakingly restored and are a part of Moore’s mission to revitalize downtown Vicksburg and restore many of its original buildings into historic centerpieces.
Moore, the owner of the $80 million mixed use The Mill at Vicksburg project currently undergoing renovations on the west end of the village, grew up enjoying Mackenzies baked goods and jumped at the chance to revitalize the brand and help bring more business to the 3,400-person village, which sits about 12 miles south of Kalamazoo. Moore has long claimed that his vision is to create a “thriving Vicksburg” so placing the bakery outside of the Mill property was intentional.
“There is a lot to be determined regarding this transaction, but one thing is for sure, downtown Vicksburg is going to smell great with the aroma of Mackenzies bread,” said Chris Moore, 56, who resides in Seattle, where he operates his businesses Concord Technologies and Old Stove Brewing, but frequently visits Vicksburg for extended periods.
MacKenzie’s Bakery shuttered operations at the end of 2020. The brand, web domain name and equipment were purchased soon after by Smutek. Moore’s Vicksburg leadership team, led by chief operating officer Jackie Koney, was approached by a mutual acquaintance who connected them to Smutek. An ongoing dialogue led to finalizing a deal to transfer ownership to Moore.
Recently all equipment from the closed bakery was transferred to Vicksburg, where Koney’s team will work to finalize renovation plans.
Former bakery owner John MacKenzie has signed on to help consult the new owners during startup. Additional full- and part-time staff will be hired to manage daily operations. The focus this time around is solely on wholesale bread, but eventually, the bakery may offer some small retail offerings.
“We are looking to bring Mackenzies bread into stores and dining establishments across Southwest Michigan, so our immediate focus is to gear up for large-scale bread production,” said Jackie Koney. “Once we get settled we’ll evaluate expanding product offerings and delivery channels.”
The move into downtown Vicksburg is welcomed by Village leadership.
“We look forward to welcoming a new iteration of Mackenzies into downtown Vicksburg,” said Village of Vicksburg manager Jim Mallery. “There is a lot of potential for growth with Mackenzies Vicksburg’s products and sales channels, so we are excited to have them up and running and adding to our downtown charm.”
Mackenzies Vicksburg expects to share more information soon on its website, www.mackenziesbakery.com, about opening dates and product offerings.