I work for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development as a senior economic development specialist, and I love my job not only because I get to help businesses grow, but also because my stomach loves my amazing food business clients. I recently met with one new bakery in Roseville called Grasshoppers Bread Company.
A family-run small business, Grasshoppers Bread Company is owned by Michael and Barbara Byrd and their daughter Samantha. While watching Michael work his culinary magic making some delicious products with a roller, dough and some flour, he told me how their business began.
Growing up, Michael spent time with his great-grandparents up north, and they showed him how to make bread. When he lost his automotive job during the Great Recession, he went to a local Michigan Works! office and was offered an opportunity to go back to school. Through the culinary arts program at Macomb Community College, he learned the skills needed to become a professional baker.
Michael was baking from his home under Michigan’s Cottage Food Law, and when a building became available, he jumped right on it. He said the Grasshoppers business name was from an old cartoon character that family and friends used to call him, and he thought it would be a great name for the business. They opened a week before Christmas and sell 10 different types of breads. They also sell pretzels, buns, cheesecake, brownies, almond croissants, and are working on new items all the time. They even have what is called a Turtle Pocket made out of caramel, chocolate and pecans. Another great product is similar to an Almond Joy with almond paste chocolate and coconuts. Yes, you read that right, and I’m sorry if you are drooling now.
One of the products that I had a chance to taste was a triple apple cider cake with a frosting made from Barbara’s grandmother’s recipe. I kept saying how amazing it was, and that put a huge smile on their faces because they care that you will be happy with your purchase.
Grasshoppers Bread Company plans to bring in a professional cake artist who will be doing different styles and 3D designs on wedding, birthday and other event cakes.
They also sell wholesale and supply bread to neighboring Motorcity Meatball Kitchen – another local business I love. It always makes me happy to see businesses combine their powers to create a super product. It would be like combining Batman and Superman if Batman and Superman were culinary artists.
Getting back to reality now, Grasshoppers Bread Company makes Italian white bread six days a week and one other bread each day. Monday is Italian herb, Tuesday asiago/cheddar or what I call a slice of happiness, Wednesday is Boston (white), Thursday they make a honey wheat, Friday is rye, and Saturday you can get yourself some challah/cinnamon raisin.
I would be doing the business an injustice if I did not say that they make this bread old school. From start to finish, it takes three days to make each loaf. This might seem like a lifetime to wait for food. Luckily for you, you need only to walk through their doors, take a big whiff of all the fresh products being made, and make that delicious purchase. You will thank me, and you are so welcome.
Grasshoppers Bread Company
15680 13 Mile Road, Roseville, MI 48066
Jack Johns is a senior economic development specialist with the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. He specializes in assisting food and agriculture, automotive, energy and retail companies.