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Avalon Bakery Opens New Cafe Inside Rivertown Market

Plus, a “global streaming platform” is filming a food-related documentary in Detroit this weekend

The new Avalon Rivertown Cafe situated inside the Meijer Rivertown Market on East Jefferson in Detroit.
Avalon International Breads
Serena Maria Daniels is the editor for Eater Detroit.

Avalon Bakery continues to expand its footprint in southeast Michigan with the opening of an Avalon Cafe location inside the Rivertown Market on East Jefferson. The new location opened on Wednesday, Oct. 5, in the space formerly occupied by Great Lakes Coffee.

Shoppers can expect a variety of coffee and espresso drinks, grab and go sandwiches, salads, and quiches, as well as Avalon’s breakfast biscuit sandwiches, says Becca Galang, retail and marketing director for Avalon. In addition to the food and drink options, the cafe features ample seating for folks who’d rather dine in the store.

Rivertown Market, a smaller scale groceries-only version of Meijer, opened just east of downtown in October 2021. Prior to opening, plans for the cafe space were for Mudgie’s Deli. Following the death of Greg Mudge, the supermarket opted to bring in Great Lakes Coffee. Just a few months later, baristas at Great Lakes’ flagship store in Midtown went on strike in a bid to unionize amid concerns with safety and work conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The workers never returned to work and by the end of summer the baristas withdrew their union efforts. Galang says that Avalon was contacted about a month ago to take over the space. Coincidentally, Avalon partnered with Great Lakes Coffee briefly beginning in 2015 while the bakery was in search of a long-term coffee source. That deal was short-lived, however. Its current supplier is Ann Arbor-based Mighty Good Coffee Roasting Co.

A Taste of Home and Harvest

Nezaa Bandele, founder of the forthcoming Paradise Deli and Marketplace in the city’s Core City neighborhood is hosting A Taste of Home and Harvest, a five-course, plant-based popup dining event at Keep Growing Detroit this weekend in an effort to continue raising the funds needed to open in spring 2023. The plant-based, five-course meal takes place 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 8, at 3100 Orleans. Tickets for the event are available starting at $100, with proceeds going toward the mounting construction costs associated with launching the deli and marketplace.

In addition to bringing about awareness of the opening of the deli — situated inside the currently-in-construction headquarters for Allied Media Projects in the Love Building on Grand River Avenue — Bandele says that a film crew will be shooting footage at the popup as part of a documentary for a “global streaming platform” on issues related to food justice. Those in attendance will need to sign a waiver to agree to being filmed.