A blighted Mt. Airy storefront has been transformed into a new bakery.
The bakery located at 6616 Germantown Ave. marks the second location for Mt. Airy resident baker Jimmie Reed.
“I am excited to be able to expand in Mt. Airy. The opening is a labor of love and wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the community. Mt. Airy has embraced me over the past two years and I couldn’t imagine another community to open my bake house in,” said Reed.
After 12 years of working in senior management roles for national corporate restaurants, Reed partnered with a former colleague to open Little Jimmie’s Bakery Cafe in March 2011 at 6669 Germantown Ave. The business partners converted a one-room school house built in 1740 into a functional bakery café. To keep up with demand, Reed collaborated with Mt. Airy USA’s real estate development and commercial corridor revitalization programs to expand his operations with a bakery location across the street from his café.
The new bake house serves up cakes, pies, pastries, breads, rolls and locally roasted coffee.
A group of community leaders, neighbors and business owners recently came together to welcome Little Jimmie’s Bake House to the Mt. Airy community.
“When I came to Mt. Airy USA in 2011, I vowed to make the revitalization of the 6500 to 6700 blocks of Germantown Avenue a priority of the organization. Residents of this neighborhood deserve the same access to amenities as other parts of the community,” Anuj Gupta, executive director of Mt. Airy USA said as he spoke about the significant of the bakery project.
“Recalling what this space looked like only a few years ago makes the opening of this bakery that much more meaningful.”
Gupta said they are grateful for the support of the Philadelphia’s Commerce Department and Office of Housing and Community Development in making the project happen.
Councilwoman Cindy Bass, who is a frequent customer of Little Jimmie’s said it’s incredible to see how Jimmie’s operation as grown in such a short amount of time.
“I greatly appreciate Little Jimmies and Mt. Airy USA’s commitment to this neighborhood and to revitalizing our commercial corridor,” Bass said.
“These types of collaborations will help Mt. Airy and Germantown Avenue transform into a destination that fosters community and encourages other small businesses to come to the area.”
The bakery is Mt. Airy USA’s latest development project. The community development corporation has been working on the revitalization of the Mt. Airy section of Germantown Avenue since 1980. At the time, with the high rates of abandonment and blight along the corridor, Germantown Avenue was in a state of decline. Officials said due to the work of Mt. Airy USA, local civic groups, neighborhood residents, business owners and public and private investments, Mt. Airy is in renaissance. During the past decade, Mt. Airy’s Germantown Avenue has started to emerge as a vibrant retail and dining destination.
The building now housing the bake shop is a historic renovation of a home originally constructed in the 1700s.
Mt. Airy USA’s Real Estate Development Program renovated the space pursuant to a mixed-use grant received from the Office of Housing and Community Development and Commerce Department in 2012. The work on this building is the second part of rehab pursuant to that project and a part of our broader effort to revitalize highly blighted blocks from 6500-6700 along Germantown Avenue.
Mt. Airy USA’s Real Estate Development Program undertakes projects that turn blighted and underutilized sections of Mt. Airy into vibrant community assets.
The new bakery was also supported by funding secured by Mt. Airy’s commercial revitalization program, including an award by the city of Philadelphia’s InStore Program and a no-interest Kiva Zip loan.
The bake house is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.