New shop opens at ‘Backroom’ in downtown Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 November 2019 at 7:20 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Maureen Bennett on Friday opened The Backroom – Pretty Sweet Bakery & A Lil’ Cottage Chic at 117 North Liberty St. One of her friends, Lisa Stratton (in back at counter), helped on a busy opening day.

ALBION – A new shop opened in downtown Albion on Friday. The Backroom – Pretty Sweet Bakery & A Lil’ Cottage Chic is owned by Maureen Bennett, who was a vendor at the next-door Downtown Browsery for nine years.

Bennett retired about a year ago after working 25 years at Albion High School as a secretary in attendance and the guidance department.

Owning her own shop has been a goal. Her business includes an “eclectic mix of vintage,” handcrafted gifts, baked goods, gourmet dips, candles and seasonal décor.

“This has been my passion to have a little shop like this,” she said Friday, on a busy opening day for the business. “I was able to get my experience at the Browsery.”

Maureen Bennett was a vendor at Downtown Browsery for nine years and decided to venture out with her own storefront.

The Backroom is located at 117 North Liberty St. It is the backroom of the former Landauers department store in Albion, at the spot in the store where people would try on jeans.

The building was recently purchased and upgraded by Michael Bonafede and Judith Koehler. They also own the Pratt and Day buildings next door that include the Downtown Browsery.

The Backroom will have a commercial kitchen for onsite baking and food preparation. Right now, an assortment of baked goods are prepared offsite and sold on location by Pamela Jenks.

Bennett also is selling homemade soaps made by Navarra’s Farm Market, Friday night candle by Lisa Christiaansen, Macramé by Bennett’s daughter Sarah, car-seat covers by Monica Clark, and other locally made products, including bohemian style clothing such as bloomers.

The Backroom is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Backroom is part of the former Landauer’s store in Albion. This is the part of Landauers known as the “back room” where people would try on jeans. The store is behind the Main Street storefronts, and is next to Five Star Bank.

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