Two brothers introduced an authentic Italian experience to West Michigan through a passion for baking.
Michele and Raffaele Minghetti launched Dante’s Bakery in May with a focus on focaccia. The bakery’s goods can be found at Bridge Street Market in Grand Rapids and at various farmers markets around the West Michigan and Lansing areas.
Focaccia is a flat leavened Italian bread, similar in style and texture to pizza. It often is served as a side dish or as sandwich bread.
For 25-year-old Michele Minghetti, the bakery is the result of a passion for made-from-scratch cooking.
“My grandmother and my mother make everything from scratch, so I started liking baking as a young kid,” he said.
The Minghetti brothers were born and raised in Switzerland and also spent time living in Italy. Michele Minghetti came to Michigan in 2021 to study for a semester at Grand Valley State University while finishing his master’s degree program.
After graduation, however, he said he wasn’t ready to jump into the workforce.
“I said, ‘I don’t want to work yet — I want to do something I love, and that’s baking,’” he said.
Michele Minghetti returned to Italy to learn more about baking and Italian cuisine, and he came back to West Michigan this year with his younger brother to launch Dante’s Bakery.
The bakery offers several different varieties of focaccia bread, including focaccia with pesto, oats, rosemary or chocolate. Recently, the brothers started to expand their product offerings with lemon biscuits, breadsticks and croutons.
The business operates out of the Incubator Kitchen at Grand Rapids Downtown Market to prepare and bake the focaccia. Michele said he hopes to obtain a physical storefront as the business grows and eventually hire more employees.
The bakery also will offer its products at the Breton Village D&W Fresh Market this month.
Minghetti said the overall response from the West Michigan community has been meaningful.
“The support for local businesses here is great,” he said. “People here seem to like the authenticity of what we’re bringing. It makes me want to wake up in the morning and bake for the people that appreciate it.”