Wild Oats Bakery and Cafe announced Wednesday that it is moving to Brunswick Landing at the end of next year after building its “dream building.” The Times Record/2016 file photo

BRUNSWICK — Longtime downtown fixture Wild Oats Bakery and Cafe is moving to Brunswick Landing at the end of next year, the business announced.

In a Facebook post Wednesday that garnered more than 400 reactions and over 150 comments in the first two hours, the cafe painted a picture of what it said was an exciting future: “Imagine never having to wade through a sea of people to get your soup, not having to explain to a stranger where to pay, not being forced to eat with a family you’ve never met, and finding a parking spot on your very first try,” the post said.

The decision to move from the current location at the Tontine Mall was a difficult one, according to the post, but after community feedback over a lack of parking and seating and a confusing layout, the business decided to “build our dream building,” a 19,000-square-foot restaurant on Admiral Fitch Avenue.

Dave and Becky Shepherd opened Wild Oats in 1991 as “Wild O.A.T.S.” (Original and Tasty Stuff), “with the intention of providing a central meeting place, where all would be welcome,” according to the website.

Wild Oats now has more than 40 employees and has become a mainstay in Brunswick, serving up soups, smoothies, salads, sandwiches and baked goods among other treats. In the new location, customers can expect “loads more” parking, additional outdoor seating and more retail and production space, including a spot for made-to-order smoothies, according to the post.

This will not be the bakery’s first stint at Brunswick Landing. Wild Oats previously opened a satellite location at the landing, which closed in 2015 after only a year and a half.  The business was “brisk and profitable,” Becky Shepherd said in a 2016 interview, but the Shepherds divided their attention between the landing and the Tontine Mall location, which was experiencing “unexpected growth” at the time.

Four years later, the “downtown community (has) made us the business we are today,” they said in the post, and they are ready to continue their legacy elsewhere in town.

“We will miss the downtown and our fellow Tontine Mall businesses, but are also very excited for this next chapter” in the “vibrant” Brunswick Landing community, they wrote.

 


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