Mill 72 Bake Shop & Café opens in Manheim

By on February 28, 2019

Mill 72 Bake Shop & Café, 45 N. Main St., Manheim, is now open. Manheim Chamber hosted a ribbon cutting Friday, Feb. 22 and a grand opening celebration was held the following day.

“The opening of Mill 72 is a great addition to the already fantastic restaurant options in Manheim. We are excited to welcome the Miller family and their cafe and bake shop to our business community and we look forward to all they will offer,” said Kelly Lauver, Manheim Chamber administrative coordinator.

Mill 72 is the first business in the REO Manheim Marketplace, 51 N. Main St., Manheim, which is being redeveloped by Staudtt McGovern Holdings LLC. The menu includes breakfast items such as baked oatmeal, bagels, quiche, muffins and donuts; lunch salads, sandwiches and soup. Breakfast is available all day. Drinks include smoothies, coffee drinks, hot tea and sodas. Sweet treats include whoopie pies, pies, cupcakes, and Grandma Donna’s lemon bar. There’s also Kreider’s ice cream. Cakes and cupcakes can be ordered.

Mill 72 is the vision of the Miller family — Brian and Melanie, and their children Taylor, Morgan, McKayla and Payton. The bake shop and café takes its name from the Miller family’s last name and the fact that it’s located on Route 72. It’s also a nod to the family history of owning and working in a family-owned corn meal mill.

Mill 72 Bake Shop & Café, 45 N. Main St., Manheim is the first business to open at the Manheim REO Marketplace, the former Bickel’s Snack Foods facility and J. Harvey Spahr Garage and REO dealership.

“I was probably the one who took the most convincing to take on the business,” Brian Miller said, “You’ll see all of us here at the café, but I’m the one you’ll see the least.” (He is also a principal and project engineer at ELA Group, Lititz.)

“The thought of opening a bakery has always been at the back of my mind. The neat thing about doing this as a family is that each member of the family has something to contribute. It’s brought us closer as a family,” Melanie Miller added.

Brian’s expertise as an engineer helped with the permitting process. Morgan is the baker; she’s tested and refined the recipes for Mill 72’s menu. She graduated from Manheim Central High School and Lancaster County Career & Technology Center’s baking and pastry arts program.

“Mom (Melanie) grew up baking, so as a family we baked, too. We made cupcakes a lot,” Morgan said.

Taylor is also a Manheim Central and Lancaster County Career & Technology Center graduate. She graduated from the cosmetology program and is a partner in a Manheim salon. She’s also been handling Mill 72’s social media.

Both McKayla and Payton are Manheim Central students. Melanie said McKayla is the “techie” of the family, and Payton is creating a slide show depicting the process of transforming a portion of the former Bickel’s Snack Foods facility into Mill 72.

“I’d like to be here all the time; I want to learn about running a business,” McKayla said.

The café and bakery is a light-filled area. There’s a casual seating area by a fireplace. Counter seating in front of large display windows that fronts onto Main Street and the parking lot for the REO complex. Additional seating can be found at tables and a high-top. Baked goods and pastries fill a display case. WiFi and USB ports are available throughout. The menu features family favorites made with locally-sourced ingredients including Taylor’s favorite-BBQ chicken salad, and “That Good Salad,” which is made from a family recipe. Coffee items are prepared using Gerhart Coffees.

“Gerhart is a 130-year-old Lancaster business that’s family-owned. As a family business, we like to support other family-owned and local businesses,” Melanie said.The family is excited to be part of the project to bring new life to the former Bickel’s building.

“This building has a lot of local history,” Brian said.

The interior of Mill 72 Bake Shop & Café.

Staudt McGovern Holdings partners (and Manheim residents) Bernard “Barney” and Suzanne Reiley are transforming the facility into the REO Manheim Marketplace. While many remember the facility as Bickel’s, the building’s history goes back even further.

One of the buildings on the property was once the site of one of Manheim’s oldest taverns/hotel&tstr;the King of Prussia, which later became the Eagle Hotel and then the Globe Hotel. The REO name pays tribute to its heritage as an REO auto, and later truck, dealership that was operated by J. Harvey Spahr. Mill 72 is located in what was once the showroom of the dealership. The bake shop and café’s maple floors are original flooring that’s been refinished.

“We’re glad to have the first of four buildings filled,” Barney Reiley said, adding that a craft distillery or brewpub is being sought to fill a 3,800-square-foot space in one of the other buildings on the complex.

The couple credit J.P. and Michele Perron’s transformation of a vacant building that had its roots as an 1880s cigar warehouse into The Booking House (a special events venue) with inspiring the REO project.

“This is our hometown, and we love it. We want to help make it a destination. We hope to inspire further redevelopment the way the Booking House inspired us,” Barney Reiley said.

“Everyone is excited about this project. The Miller family had a dream and they bought into the Reileys vision,” said Manheim Mayor Scot Funk.

Mill 72 is open 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. For further information, visit mill72.com or the bakes shop and café’s Facebook page.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent who covers the Rapho Township municipal beat for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com. 

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