The husband-and-wife team met at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute and worked at several restaurants before opening 2 the Moon in November 2020. Nathanial spent eight years with Myles Anton at Trattoria Stella, moving through the ranks to become sous chef. Chelsie, a Lake City native, found her passion for bread and croissants at Good Harbor Café & Bakery and 9 Bean Rows.
Photo by Dave Weidner
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“We purchased the building in July 2020 and immediately went to work tearing everything down to the bones,” Nathanial says. They replaced the electrical, plumbing and HVAC, repaired the original hardwood floors and brick walls that were revealed during renovations, added a commercial kitchen and put in a beautiful black tin drop ceiling—and that was just the interior. The exterior got some much-needed love, too.
“Each time a local resident comes in, we hear about their connection with this building,” Nathanial adds. “That’s what always gets us excited, talking to everyone about the history of the place, what we did and what we have planned for the future … we cherish it.”
Get There: 100 N. Main St., Lake City
Read on for the full interview with Nathanial and Chelsie.
Photo by Dave Weidner
We purchased the building in July of 2020 and immediately went to work tearing everything down to the bones. So much hard work! Due to the fact we had a limited budget, we opted to do a majority of the things we could do ourselves in order to save costs. All of that hard work was driven by a passion that we shared to bring purpose and “life” back into this beautiful building. One of our favorite things that we’ve done is put in a black tin drop ceiling—the patterns in the tin really give it the vintage appeal.
So, reflecting on this past year, we’d have to say a favorite of ours is having people come in—some local, some not—and all of them are just in love with the building. Whether it’s the decor or how we rehabilitated the building, everyone agrees that it truly is a work of beauty. That’s what always gets us excited, talking to everyone about the history of the place, what we did and what we have planned for the future. Each time we experience that moment we cherish it.
Becoming a part of this wonderful community has been the most rewarding thing that we have done this year by far. Offering a service that has been absent in the city for some time while also breathing back life into one of the oldest buildings in the downtown area has been everything we’d had hoped it be and more!
Tell us about the renovations you’ve done (and any still in the works), and the building’s history.
Okay, the building’s history! We really enjoy talking about the history of this place and the discoveries we made during the renovation period. The building is over a hundred years old, having been built sometime in the mid to late 1910s. It was built by a gentleman named George William Wood to be used as an office building for his “real estate, abstract and insurance business” for a short period of time before his passing in 1924. Soon after his passing, in what we believe was about 1930, it became the first post office here in Lake City. It remained the post office until the early ’60s when the post office moved to a new building directly behind it. Since then the building has been home to several retail shops, stores, a recreation hall and the second story housed a dentist’s office we’ve been told. Each time a local resident comes in we hear about their connection with this building, which is just an amazing thing.
As mentioned before, we had to do so many upgrades to the building once we purchased it. On the interior we had to replace all the electrical, plumbing, HVAC, repair the original hardwood floors, repair the original brick walls that we exposed during renovations, and then once it got to adding the commercial kitchen we did the best we could to utilize the limited space and get as many pieces of equipment in there that we could. For the exterior, we had to completely tear down and rebuild two roofs as well as repair the exterior walls and give them a more modern look as well as lots of cosmetic work to bring back the curb appeal that this building desperately needed.
Photo by Dave Weidner
Photo by Dave Weidner
For the bakery items, some of the biggest sellers and flagships are our breads. We specialize in artisan bread so we do a lot of things with our sourdough starter which has such an amazing flavor. We usually carry around 4–5 different flavors of sourdough (original, whole wheat, multigrain, rye, cinnamon raisin, jalapeño cheddar) then a couple of other varieties of yeasted bread (classic white, focaccia and challah). In the display cases, our croissants and scones are the top sellers. The croissants, which take three days from start to finish to produce, come in several different varieties (chocolate, ham & parmesan cheese, spinach & goat cheese, fruit [made with local fruit preserves] or butter) and have been compared to something that you would find in the streets of Paris.
Our scones, which are a “sweet biscuit,” have a rich and slightly moister crumb than other scones. Typically, we carry 5–6 different varieties which come with fruit, chocolate, nuts or a combination of the three. These varieties tend to change with the seasons and we always will have a vegan or a gluten-free option daily as well.
For the kitchen items, we carry breakfast and lunch sandwiches throughout the day. The biggest seller for breakfast is our egg croissant made with a freshly baked butter croissant, locally grown smoked bacon, spinach and cheddar cheese. The breakfast burrito is also popular with guacamole, pepper jack cheese, scrambled eggs and our specialty house-made chorizo on a tortilla. For lunch, our two most popular sandwiches are our “Crater” made with smoked turkey, honey ham, heirloom tomatoes, organic mixed greens, cheddar cheese, house-made aioli on sourdough, and our “Darkside” made with local corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and our house-made Russian dressing on rye sourdough.
What are some of your favorite specials that you’ve tried, and may bring back in the future?
We are constantly coming up with new flavors for our muffins, cookies and scones, which change quite frequently. One of the favorites right now is our foldovers which come with pastry cream, local apples, cinnamon, brown and powdered sugar.
In the kitchen Chef Nathanial (Ziggy) is always coming up with new specials for the menu weekly as well, which can range from sandwiches to pasta or wraps. One of our customer’s favorites is chef’s Asian pork belly wrap which comes with honey, roasted garlic, sesame seeds, pork belly, cilantro and soba noodles on a tortilla wrap.
You both have impressive culinary résumés—are there some lessons, cooking tips, philosophies, etc. that you took to heart from past employers?
While in culinary school Chef Ziggy got a job working at Trattoria Stella ran by Executive Chef Myles Anton. Chef Ziggy really took to heart the concept of making recipes from scratch with the freshest ingredients possible. Myles would constantly be educating his staff with demonstrations on how to prepare a particular dish that he had created for his menu. Noting that each step is crucial; from where the product came from to how to properly prepare it so that the maximum yield is achieved. Pro Tip: The 5 Ps in the kitchen once told to me by a Chef: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. Mise en place is a French term that literally means “putting everything in its place,” and refers to the act of organizing the ingredients of a recipe in a way that is as convenient and as accessible as possible. Learn how to master this skill to make your meal prepping a whole lot easier.
Chef Chelsie, while working at Good Harbor Café & Bakery in TC and 9 Bean Rows Bakery in Suttons Bay, quickly developed her passion for bread and croissants as well as becoming a barista. Pro Tip: DO NOT OVERMIX! When making any dough/batter you must be careful not to over mix. Once you have passed the point of your product being over mixed you cannot return and will have to start new.
At the bakery, those philosophies are the backbone for the recipes that we come up with for the menu.
What do you want to share about your business, products, future plans—anything!
As you can probably tell everything we do at the bakery is done from scratch with the freshest ingredients possible sourced from places within a 100-mile radius of the bakery. Several of the ingredients we bring into the bakery are sourced from local farms right in our community. 2 The Moon Bakery believes that supporting our neighbors is the cornerstone for our success.