Potter’s Bakery is a traditional bakery open everyday in Traverse City at their two locations: 8th Street and Front Street. The morning lines frequently seen out the doors speak for themselves; Potter’s donuts are amazing. Potter’s Bakery currently has 24 employees that are constantly kept busy.
“I don’t understand the word bored!” Kathy Potter states, one of the owners.
Norm and Julia Potter originally opened Potter’s Bakery in 1929 and it has since been owned by three generations of Potters. Kathy Potter (who wasn’t a Potter just yet), grew up across the street from Potter’s Bakery and got hired in May of 1977. Julia had a grandson named Mike who hit it off with Kathy quite well. They were married just seven months after meeting and have been serving the Traverse City community with amazing pastries ever since.
It is nearly impossible to pick a favorite donut at Potter’s. Personally, I like the Turtle Donut, but my step-dad can’t get enough of the Apple Cherry Fritters, and Kathy Potter herself is a fan of the Bear Claw. In addition to donuts, Potter’s has cakes, cookies, bread, rolls, and muffins. Kathy even started a special line of preserves two years ago, called Traverse Bay Preserves, to which she declares, “cherry almond is my absolute favorite.”
Kathy’s employees are like her extended family, however, there is nothing she enjoys more than interacting with the customers and getting to know everyone that comes in through the doors. To this end, Potter’s helps cater weddings and other special events. They even have cookie dough to sell for fundraisers from non-profit organizations.
In August, Potter’s Bakery will be opening another location on Hall Street. Not only will this location be serving all the usual sweets, but there will also be sandwiches, soups, salads, quiche, pot pies, and hard served ice cream. I’m sure I can speak for the entire population of Traverse City and say this is amazing news.
It is such a joy to see a family business continue to pass down to future generations. When I asked Kathy if she had any children who would be interested in taking over the bakery someday, she assured me that her “daughter Becky, who is 22, recently expressed an interest in owning the bakery one day.” This will be the fourth generation of Potters owning this fabulous bakery. For the community, this means the continuation of friendly service, delicious baked goods, and the amazing aromas that can be smelled from blocks away.
Be sure to stop in and check out the new location on Hall Street when it opens in August. In the meantime, head over to their website or Facebook page to scope out the menu and decide which one of their delicious donuts you want to try next.
~Jennifer Hamilton, Feature Writer