Success stories

Huron Mountain Bakery

Marquette and Ishpeming, Michigan

“[Northern Initiatives’ Profit Mastery Course] was an amazing class and I’d take it again if I had the time.” – John Scheidt, owner of Huron Mountain Bakery

In his early twenties, John Scheidt was surprised to learn he loved baking – particularly fresh bread, doughnuts, and cakes. His career moved quickly from prep staff, to baker, to manager of five bakeries within a grocery chain in mid-Michigan. Ten years later, he had developed a successful European-style bread program and could see the industry moving in a direction that didn’t fit his interests. Acting on a desire to live closer to nature and farther from traffic jams, he and his then fiancé, now wife, Darci, selected Marquette as their new home base and location for a true, made-from scratch bakery.

In a strategic move, they purchased an existing business that might have been their competition had it been fully capitalized. They retrofitted and opened Huron Mountain Bakery in the summer of 1996 – just in time for the tourist season. Fast forward sixteen years and Huron Mountain Bakery was a thriving regional institution featuring a dazzling array of fresh-baked doughnuts, muffins, cookies, and artisan breads.

In 2012, Scheidt hoped to expand production into cakes, sandwiches, and wood-fired pizzas (at his second location in Ishpeming) as well as other seasonal and specialty lines. The expansion required capital for new equipment, display cases, building upgrades, and ovens.

After discussions with a local Northern Initiatives loan officer who saw the potential in this growing business, Scheidt secured a business loan for capital improvements. Within two years, the Ishpeming location had experienced 2.5 times revenue growth. Sales at both the Marquette and Ishpeming locations increased significantly as a result of the expansion and cash flow metrics also improved.

Scheidt is a happy graduate of Northern Initiatives’ Profit Mastery course. He states, “It was an amazing class and I’d take it again if I had the time.” The course helped Scheidt “see a bigger picture of the business besides just the checking account balance.” It helped him better understand the cash flow dynamics of his particular business and validated financial and operational goals.

Huron Mountain Bakery has become a well-recognized Midwest brand and has won numerous awards including Marquette’s “Best Bakery” award each time it has been given.

This happy customer comment says it all: “The biggest decision is what to choose…the specialty cakes are wonderful, and you can pretend that you made them when your friends come for coffee or dinner.”

Huron Mountain Bakery Impacts:

  • Jobs Created: 7 Full Time


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