GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Anna Varchola made her dream a reality when she opened her own bakery during the pandemic. But here's the twist: it's a secret!
Varchola officially created Midnite Patisserie in October last year, but within the last few months, it has gained more popularity than ever before.
The bakery is a secret because Varchola runs the business out of her home's kitchen and delivers pastries through a takeout window on her front porch.
"I felt so silly the first time setting this up and delivering pastries out my living room window," said Varchola. "That feeling went away the second or third weekend when it started kind of getting busier, and I was like, 'Okay, maybe this wasn't such a silly idea.'"
Now months into operating her secret bakery, Varchola says the demand for her homemade bakery items is higher than ever.
Varchola owes her success to the extra time she had during the pandemic and the power of social media. Specifically, Instagram and the mentions and shares she gets from her followers and customers.
"Social media has made my business," said Varchola. " I didn't do any advertising besides one Instagram ad, and that got me so many followers and so much business. It was just a $5 ad within a 30-mile-radius, and all of a sudden followers out of nowhere. They all share and are so nice, and I really have to thank my followers for a lot of how busy I am."
Each week, Varchola posts a new menu on Thursdays at noon and waits for orders to come in on her website.
Customers need to act quickly, though, as her bakery items sell out within minutes.
"It sells out, and then I get into the kitchen," she said. "I would say three minutes, the croissants are gone. And then I start getting direct messages saying, 'Can I still get this?' And I wish I could, but you can't."
Once the orders are in, Varchola gets to work on Saturday mornings, preparing for pickup, which runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
As far as expanding goes, Varchola has plans to move into a larger kitchen soon to grow her business and reach more croissant lovers.
Right now, she's in the paperwork phase of planning but hopes to move into Amethyst Bee Cakery in Grand Rapids by the end of April.
For more information or to place an order, click here.