New bakery to open on Hill

New signs on College Hill are evidence of a storefront bakery that will be coming to the Cedar Valley in just a few weeks. Milkbox Bakery is a local  business with all baked goods made from scratch.

The main baker and owner, Andrea Geary, first got interested in food as a student at the University of Iowa.

“When I was an undergrad at the University of Iowa, I was very interested in the idea of self-sufficiency, and I began among other things to grow my own food and cooking things from scratch, which baking came along with,” Geary said.

Her speciality in baking began in a pastry shop in Illinois, where she worked for one year and learned how to run a business and master the art of baking.

Geary’s first business in Illinois started from an at-home baking side project but then couldn’t  be maintained because of the high demand of orders and requests.

“Friends and co-workers would always ask me for an extra loaf of bread or whatever I had given them the week before as a gift, where it had kind of grown to the point where I realized I had to turn it into a business or I would start losing money,” she said.

So, then Geary opened her own bakery in Illinois in 2003 and operated it until she had her two daughters.

Later she and her family moved to Cedar Falls. In April 2016, she started Milkbox Bakery also as an at-home business in Cedar Falls. Again, as her subscription list grew, it was hard to not expand into the upcoming College Hill storefront location.

Milkbox Bakery’s goods are made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients.

“I think the fact that I incorporate high-quality, local ingredients and produce everything from scratch is my specialty, and it is really uncommon to find bakeries like that,” Geary said. “Decades ago it used to be the norm, but it does not happen very often now, so I always think of that as my specialty,” she said.

Geary’s baked specialities include chocolate brioche, croissants, enormous cinnamon rolls, fruit danishes, sour dough bread, flatbread and cakes.

“The first thing I think people will experience when they walk into Milkbox Bakery is the smell. When you walk into a bakery where the food is made from scratch, the smell is overwhelming, and it is something that I think a lot of people haven’t experienced potentially,” Geary said. “I hope when people come to Milkbox they will feel warm and welcomed with the essence of community. I want it to be a place where neighbors and friends will gather.”

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