Summary. The Bread Garden Market and Bakery is an amazing fusion of café, restaurant, pastry shop, deli, buffet, bakery, gift shop, and grocery store. With something for everyone, the selection of food includes gourmet quality meals and organic foods as well as value priced, but delicious, meal choices and groceries.

Contact Information. Brooke Brewer, Director of Store Operations, Bread Garden Market, 225 S. Linn Street, Iowa City, IA 52240. Phone: 319-354-4246. Fax: 319-887-0929.

Location. The Bread Garden Market and Bakery is located on East College Street in the Plaza Towers on the pedestrian mall in downtown Iowa City. Managed by the Moen Group, the Plaza Towers building is also home to the Eastwind Healing Center, Formosa Asian Cuisine, Hotel Vetro, and Iowa City Fitness.

Seating. Plenty of comfortable seating is available indoors and on a glassed-in heated outdoor patio. The glass can be removed in the warmer months.

Great Food and Excellent Management. The Bread Garden Market and Bakery is owned and operated by Jim Mondanaro who also owns Micky’s Irish Pub, Givanni’s, Joseph’s Steakhouse and The Saloon in Iowa City, as well as Mondo’s Tomato Pie located in Coralville. All of these businesses have done very well and offer some of the best food and service in the Midwest.

Media Coverage. The opening of the Bread Garden Market and Bakery received considerable media attention and community support. This is due, in part, to the loyal following of people who frequented the Bread Garden as a restaurant in its previous location at 224 South Clinton Street. A very nice article appeared in the Iowa City Press Citizen (20080228th).

Urban Impact Assessment. There is a strong desire of many people in Iowa City to establish the downtown Iowa City area as a mixed-use urban space (New Urbanism). The Bread Garden Market and Bakery is an essential part of revitalizing downtown Iowa City. By having parks, green spaces, businesses, shops, restaurants, grocery stores, and residential living all within a few blocks, it is possible to live and work in the same neighborhood. This results in people walking and riding bicycles instead of driving cars. The following benefits are acheived:

  • Noise pollution is reduced.
  • Air pollution is reduced.
  • Global warming is reduced.
  • Health benefits result from people walking and/or riding bicycles.
  • Cost savings result from people walking and/or riding bicycles instead of driving.
  • More open space is available when people are not using cars to commute.
  • Social interaction is more likely when people pass each other on the sidewalk than if they pass each other on the highway at 70 miles per hour.

Impact on Housing. Integral to the cost of housing are numerous expenses associated with living where your home is located. Having a full grocery store in the downtown Iowa City area makes it more economical for people to live and work in the downtown area. For some people, it may mean the difference between needing to own a car or not. If a full grocery store is available just a few blocks away, it makes it easier to live in a smaller space with less storage for groceries.

Company & Product Evaluation. Below are journal entries from Gregory Johnson relating his experiences with the Bread Garden. These journal entries will include notes about experiences with the products and the company. Entries are listed below with the most recent at the top. Dates are provided in the format yyyymmdddyhhhh (year, month, day of the month, day of the week, hour).

  • 20080817su1158. Postal Mail and Phone Calls. A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from someone asking me for the store hours for The Bread Garden. I had to explain that I’m not the Bread Garden, but just someone providing company and product reviews. This past week I received some postal mail for The Bread Garden. So, today I added the store contact information to the top of this page so people know how to directly contact the store.
  • 20080816sa1750. Daily Dining. This past week, I started having lunch and dinner at the Bread Garden every day. Usually, eating at the same restaurant each day might get boring. However, the variety of food at the Bread Garden is so expansive that it’s like eating at a different restaurant every day. I like the salad bar because it gives me a chance to eat a wide variety of veggies and fruits. Choosing indoor or outdoor seating creates a change of venue from one day to the next. Many of my friends also eat and shop at the Bread Garden, so it’s a chance to connect with people I want to see. This week I special ordered some Clif bars which will be 5% additional off the regular $1.50 price. Most stores sell Clif bars for about $1.70 per bar.
  • 2001-2007. History. I’d been visiting the Bread Garden at the old location on numerous occasions over the past seven years prior to their move to the new location and expanding to become a grocery store.