A longtime Adrian institution — not to mention a favorite spot for college students or anyone needing a late-night pick-me-up — is getting a new owner.
Allen and Tiffany Heldt, the owners of Biggie’s Pizza in the Adrian Mall, are purchasing both Adrian locations of Morning Fresh Bakeries from Jerry Gallatin, who is planning to retire. The change of ownership will take place Jan. 1.
“Allen will do a good job,” Gallatin said, noting Heldt’s success at keeping Biggie’s open through challenging times.
Gallatin opened the first Morning Fresh Bakery in Blissfield in 1972 at the age of 21. The North Main Street location in Adrian opened in 1982, in a building just behind its current location, and the South Main location opened in 1985. There are currently three Morning Fresh stores: both Adrian locations and a third in Perrysburg, an existing business that Gallatin purchased in 2013.
“The Morning Fresh brand has been in the city for 40 years, and if I can do it half as good as he’s done it, I think we’re going to be in good shape,” Heldt said.
Heldt added that he’s glad to be able to keep Morning Fresh locally owned and operated.
The Biggie’s and Morning Fresh brands will both stay in place, and the South Main location will still be open 24 hours a day. The main change, Heldt said, is that that once he’s had time to learn the bakery business, he plans to move Biggie’s into the Morning Fresh location on South Main.
That’s a reflection of the need for efficiency rather than a desire to leave the mall, Heldt said.
“I think the mall is going to be back, but for fixed cost purposes, I need to utilize the space that I have,” he said.
Heldt said that Scrappie’s Subs, which is part of the South Main Street Morning Fresh location, will remain.
Biggie’s customers who are used to seeing Heldt behind the counter will continue to see him regularly at the bakery.
“I’m not a kick-your-feet-up kind of owner,” he said. “I’m an owner and operator.”