From Cleveland Jewish News special sections reporter Becky Raspe:

When Luna Bakery opened in 2011 in Cleveland Heights, owner Bridget Thibeault worked as the pastry chef alongside 15 employees. Soon, she realized it was time for her to expand the business as popularity grew.

Now, Thibeault said she’s ready to move into the next chapter of Luna Bakery– a new location in Moreland Hills that is expected to open in May.

The location, which is on Chagrin Boulevard at SOM Center Road and between ML Tavern and Flour in a former salon, will span 2,800 square feet and seat at least 60 customers, Thibeault said. Working with Richardson Design, she said they are working to make the store “cool” and “interesting,” but also meet the Cleveland Heights’ aesthetic as well.

“There will be couches, bar seating and regular tables,” she said. “It’ll be a fun environment, especially since there is a high school down the street.”

Thibeault, who lives in Cleveland Heights, said she felt it was time to open a new location, especially since customers always ask her about expansion plans.

“People come all over,” she said. “If we were down the street from them, they could come daily. This is going on our seventh year open in the spring, and we’ve grown a lot and we’ve hired a lot of good people. I want to give them a place to grow too. This new location will give more management opportunities, better benefits, better pay. It’s just hard to retain people in this business, so I think that it’s important for us to create spaces that foster success and jobs in the restaurant business.”

Thibeault said Luna Bakery has a niche and adding an option like it to Moreland Hills will further promote local eating.

“There is so much bad food out there right now, and that’s part of the reason people are unhealthy in the U.S.,” she said. “I think we are kind of countering that – though we offer a lot of sweets and baked goods, they are local and homemade. We offer salads too. People think we are just a bakery and that’s not the case.”

Thibeault, 44, said she’s not sure if her seven years at the Cleveland Heights location has prepared her for this, but this has been the “hardest and most rewarding” things she has ever done.

“At this point, we’re in a good groove and our menu is standard,” she said. “We don’t change it very often, but we have a good system going.”

Thibeault said she doesn’t know what is next, but is confident in the new location.

“My plan right now is to just open this location and that’s challenge enough,” she said. “I have two kids and a husband and I’m working to find that work/life balance. This whole thing is different for us – but it would be nice to open yet another location in the future. Right now, I just want to make sure this works for us and then go from there.”

 

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