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Rocket Bakery plans for expansion with second location at Churchill Square

Dave Hopley and Kelly Mansell put a sign in the window of Rocket Bakery’s soon-to-be second location in Churchill Square.
Dave Hopley and Kelly Mansell put a sign in the window of Rocket Bakery’s soon-to-be second location in Churchill Square. - Sadie-Rae Werner

Rocket Bakery and Fresh Food is preparing to open a second, smaller location at Churchill Square in early September. The “baby Rocket” will be on the left side of the Terrace on the Square building, between Alpine Lodge and Donati’s.

“We’ve wanted to open a second location for a long time, but the timing had to be right for us and we had to find the right place,” says Kelly Mansell.

She and her partners, Dave Hopley and Mark McGann, have been thinking of opening a second location for several years, but the more serious planning began this past January.

Mansell explained that because of how busy the downtown location has been with events and catering, they felt it was the right time to expand.

“The actual food and beverage concept we have downtown, we think it’s transferrable to other locations,” Hopley says about trying a second location.

The partners knew that in opening a second Rocket, they wanted a small space that would serve more as an outlet for their products. The goal was to bring their business to people who don’t come downtown, and to be somewhere with easy access to parking.

They feel they have found the right location with Churchill Square, and are taking their time preparing to open.

Rocket-To-Go, as the second location is tentatively being called, will focus on grab-and-go business, particularly coffee and pastries, with some sandwiches, soups and salads.

“It won’t be anything different that we don’t have downtown, it will just be a few less items that we can’t fit in,” says Hopley.

The Churchill Square location is significantly smaller than the store on Water Street, and will restrict what can be offered.

All of the fare will be made at the Water Street location and brought to Churchill Square in the morning, something made possible by the proximity of the two locations.

Mansell hopes to be able to sell more bread at the Churchill Square location, and have “all the things that make a coffee/bakery shop great.”

The plan for the interior of the Churchill Square location, still in progress, is to capture some of the feel of the Rocket Bakery downtown, while not trying to pretend at being a heritage building. The focus will be on grab-and-go, but they plan to have seating for about eight people. The main goal is to create a comfortable space.

To accommodate the expansion, Rocket Bakery is looking to hire bakers, cooks and retail staff to work in both locations.

“People have been really supportive and saying, ‘I’m so excited,’ and that makes us feel like we’ve made the right decision,” says Mansell.

The Rocket-To-Go location is designed to test the waters outside of downtown, particularly looking at how they are able to keep business going through the winter months. If they are successful, they might look at doing another location in Mount Pearl or Paradise.

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