Mike Mulier is a third-generation grocer and the proprietor of Mulier's Market in Grosse Pointe Park. In business since 1937, this classic family grocery store is a neighborhood institution and Avalon's oldest wholesale customer. In fact, Mulier's customers are some of Avalon's first "breadheads".
Mike first heard about us from Lori Savino Nixon, a devoted customer and food writer, when we opened in 1997. We were excited to partner with Mike in selling our bread to his devoted clientele out of his compact 3,000 square foot store. Mike helped to build Avalon clientele the old fashioned way, and the same way we built up our retail clientele: one bite at a time, cutting up crusty loaves at the front counter, while ringing up orders.
When Mike suggests something to his customers, he is offering more than a sales pitch: he is representing his family's grocery store lineage that predates their arrival to the United States from Belgium in the early 1900's. Grandfather Mulier crossed over with his father from Antwerp, Belgium, at age 16. Sending for the women in the family after they had settled into their new surroundings, the Mulier family brought generations of experience with them, from their family hostellerie and horse stables. Their first location at Mack and Cadieux was in the center of the Belgian neighborhood of Detroit (i.e. near Cadieux Cafe, home of Detroit's only feather bowling!).
Although much has changed since 1937, when Mulier's moved to its current location 15215 Kercheval St. (between Lakepointe and Beaconsfield ), the Mulier's family expertise and personal commitment to quality make our only east side retail location unique. In addition to fresh daily delivery of Avalon breads, Muliers boasts one of the best kept secrets in Metro Detroit: a premium, old-school meat counter. Mike's dad Eugene, now 80 years old, is partially retired but can still be found most days behind the meat counter at the back of the store. There you'll find old-fashioned beef aging on the hook and house-made sausage being ground, the operations now being led by Mikes brother Paul.
This fourth-generation grocery family is now taking care of the third-generation of Grosse Pointe customers: sometimes waiting on parents, children and grandchildren in the same day. In addition to fresh breads and meats, Muliers also has homemade soups, salsas and salads. Always understated, when I asked Mike for his favorite way to eat Avalon bread, he shared with me this delicious and easy year-round appetizer:
Mike's Ciabatta Bruchetta with Amogue Sauce:
1 can Roma tomatoes
Fresh garlic, basil, and pepper
Fresh lemon juice
Break up the tomatoes with your hands and add freshly minced garlic and basil and add lemon juice to taste.
Pan fry thick slices of Ciabatta in olive oil.
Top with Amogue Sauce. Enjoy alone or as an accompaniment to breaded steak or chicken.
Muliers Market is an example of locally-owned, high quality markets we boast as our V.O.B. markets. Although Avalon is only a first-generation bakery, we share an affinity with this family that has created one of the beloved food markets in Metro Detroit. Stop by for you V.O.B. stamp and say “hi” to the Muliers-a family truly passionate about quality food and the ways in which it enhances our lives.