July 29 2015 12:00 AM
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A walkable Lansing bakery seems to be an anomaly. Roma Bakery sits on a busy one-way street a few blocks north of downtown. (It’s also the temporary home of former Old Town sweet shop, Whipped). Bake N’ Cakes is located off U.S. Highway 127 on the east side, making it more of a destination location. And when Korner Krust Bread (née Great Harvest Bread Co.) went kaput in 2012, it wasn’t because customers couldn’t find it’s shop on the corner of Washington Square and Allegan Street.

So when Glazed and Confused opens later this week, it will be defying the notion that a downtown pastry shop can’t fly in these parts. Its surname says it all: An Urban Bakery.

“Business districts used to be built on the three Bs: bankers, butchers and bakers,” says Glazed and Confused owner/executive chef Pete Counseller. “We’ve got plenty of banks downtown, Mert’s Meats is doing well and they’re (walkable), but downtown needed a bakery — especially one that served breakfast and lunch.”

Downtown workers have no shortage of lunch options, but breakfast options are limited to New Daily Bagel and Crafty Palate. Counseller insists everything will be made from scratch every morning, making the shop stand out in more ways than one.

“Everything is so over-processed,” he said. “Even places that make their pastries from scratch still used processed fillers. We make our own raspberry filling by making preserves and cooking it down in store. It makes our costs a little higher and involves a little more labor. And it means we’ll probably run out before the end of the day, but I think that’s a great problem to have.”

Counseller got his start in culinary school, but opted for a career as a firefighter and paramedic. He worked for 21 years as a first responder, most recently with the City of East Lansing, before a career-ending injury inspired him to return to baking.

“I also owned an ice cream parlor for a little while years ago,” he said. “Your worst day as a paramedic can be pretty harrowing. Your worst day selling ice cream, what happens? A kid drops a scoop on the floor? That’s not too bad. Doughnuts are in the same category. No one is sad when they’re eating a doughnut.”

Rather than return to ice cream, which is a seasonal industry, Counseller enlisted Katie Lambert, a pastry chef from East Lansing who worked under Wolfgang Puck in Hawaii. Glazed and Confused’s specialty will be doughnuts; its eponymous variety made with scratch yeast raised and then finished with vanilla bean glaze or sugar-coated. There will also be jalapeno chipotle doughnuts, maple bacon bars (with fresh bacon), raspberry cheesecake and red velvet varieties, as well as a wide variety of muffins and scones.

Breakfast sandwich offerings include the soufflé sandwich (egg, gouda, arugula and ham or bacon served on brioche), as well as a breakfast brioche pizza. For lunch, diners can choose from smoked salmon BLTs, Cuban sandwiches and the Day After, which is basically Thanksigiving dinner on sourdough bread. That leftovers theme extends to the interior design as well.

“The wood we used was recycled from an old barn, and we used as many recycled products as we could,” Counseller said. “I think this will fit in very well downtown. We designed it to be a good representitave of the urban community.”

‘End of an era’

Woody’s Oasis Bar & Grill in downtown East Lansing will close for good Thursday. Owner Julie Sawaya posted pictures of employees over the years on her Facebook wall and wrote: “Wish all of my staff for the past 15 years could be together for one last time… Yes end of an era but the love will live on.”

Sawaya did not return calls for comment, but restaurant manager James Hodge confirmed that this Thursday would be the last day of business, and it would be commemorated by a daylong concert. Hodge told The State News that a leasing issue led to the closing. A call to Marilyn Shroeger, resident agent of 211 E. Grand River, LCC, the entity that owns the building, was not returned.

Scott Rolen, owner of the Lou & Harry’s in downtown Lansing, confirmed that “things are going through” to install a Lou & Harry’s restaurant in that location, but he would not comment further.

The closing will not affect the three other Woody’s Oasis locations: 2398 Jolly Road in Okemos, inside the International Center on the campus of Michigan State University, and 1050 Trowbridge Road in East Lansing, near the original location which opened in Trowbridge Plaza 30 years ago.

Glazed and Confused 107 S. Washington Square, Lansing 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday; 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday (517) 253-7147, glazedandconfusedbakery.com

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