In downtown Castleton the color pale yellow has a distinct significance. If a building bares that color it can only mean one thing; it’s a John Rehlen business.
However, soon there will be a new business in town, and it won’t be yellow.
In just a few short weeks, what used to be the town laundromat will be transformed into The Bakery.
“The goal is to create something that Castleton doesn’t have,” said Donald Billings, owner of the new bakery. “I don’t even know if there’s a latte or espresso machine in Castleton,” he added.
This isn’t Billings’ first venture into the restaurant business. He is the owner of Roots, a restaurant in downtown Rutland that specializes in local foods, a catering company, and a second location of The Bakery, also in downtown Rutland.
“We believe there’s a captive audience here,” Billings said of the new Castleton location. The Bakery hopes to offer a new and unique option for Castleton students and community members, he said.
It will be a place where you can grab a quick coffee and a pastry, but it will also offer a lounge atmosphere with couches, chairs, chessboards and high-speed Wi-Fi.
“Students have two places to really hang out, your dorm room and the student center,” Billings said. “We’re hoping to give them the choice of getting off campus for something.”
Castleton sophomore Alex Brownell is excited to try out the new option.
“It sounds awesome!” she said. “That’s exactly what we need here.”
The Bakery intends to offer much more than just food, drinks and Wi-Fi. Billings is very focused on giving back to the community on a deeper level, whether it’s to the college, local elementary schools, or sports programs.
He has spoken with community members about what they would like to see and plans on following through. The more support The Bakery gets from the community, the more Billings will be able to give back to them.
“When you have something like this it will keep dollars in Castleton,” he said.
“I think it’s terrific. Anything that brings more people downtown is just super,” he said.
Rehlen’s downtown business have been around for 40 years, and he said he’s excited to have someone new coming to the area.
Billings hopes to be up and running by the end of March and will be offering discounts to Castleton students, faculty and staff for the first 30 days.
He hopes to cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship with the college as time goes on.
“The goal is that as we keep progressing, the college will benefit from us being here,” he said.