Bonnie Brasure, owner of Bleu Door Bakery on Main Street in Vancouver, has a coffee mug emblazoned with words that nicely sum up her success in business: “She believed she could so she did.”
That’s not to say she’s done, though.
She’s taking her bakery shop, which makes fresh-from-scratch pastries, breads, desserts and sandwiches, among other confections, to its next logical step: expansion.
After securing a loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration, Brasure bought the building next door to her walk-up bakery and made several improvements to it.
The result: a lovely new space, lit up by sparkly chandeliers, in which customers will be able to sit down, peruse the menu and enjoy a bite to eat.
What won’t change: Brasure’s passion for making and serving high-quality food. “I bake from scratch daily,” she said. “There’s a lot of love that goes into the food.”
Brasure said she’s aiming to have the new space, which is expected to seat 25 to 30 people, ready to go beginning in June. Altogether, Bleu Door will gain 1,700 square feet for a total of 2,500 square feet of space.
And with the new room will come other customer-friendly additions. The menu will broaden, Brasure said, including more breakfast and lunch items. The bakery will expand the number of days it’s open from five to six. Brunch will be served on weekends. What’s more, Brasure said, Bleu Door is close to wrapping up the paperwork it needs to serve beer and wine.
The walk-up part of the bakery will stay, Brasure said. But the new space — formerly home to Urban Eccentric, a clothing store that recently relocated down the street — makes room for the steady growth of the bakery, which opened its doors in October 2011.
When Brasure introduced her business to the neighborhood, she said, “we instantly outgrew the space.” At one point, the bakery employed five people with occasional interns. As Bleu Door reaches full speed to accommodate the growth, Brasure said, she expects to employ 20 people — 15 full time, five part time.
On the bakery’s website, Brasure shares her journey to becoming a small business owner.
“I’ve never been to France but in my dreams I always envision beautiful little bakeries in cute towns with Bleu doors,” she writes. “So when the dream of owning a little bakery in a cute town became a reality it seemed only fitting to call this Bleu Door Bakery.”
Brasure’s dream “would not have been possible without the love and support of the community,” she told The Columbian this week. “The community has embraced me at such a level. It’s crazy.”