Nikki La Tray is hoping for an even sweeter taste of success for her Eastside Bakery now that it has a new home in Davenport's Hilltop Campus Village.

Eight years ago, La Tray opened her bakery at 1330 E. 12th St., in a residential neighborhood near the Village of East Davenport.

''We didn't want to move necessarily, but felt we had to in order to accomplish what we wanted to do," she said. "I think the business had gotten as good as it was going to get down there." 

She traded her more than century-old former grocery store for a highly visible, corner store with a distinctive orange, adobe-like exterior at 1501 Harrison St.

Although the new bakery is slightly smaller than her original store, she it is more efficient with a lobby with her bakery cases, a designated kitchen and a private office — set up for visits from the grandkids.

"I preferred to stay in the older neighborhoods," she said, crediting her pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church, which is on the Hilltop's north edge, with suggesting the central city neighborhood.

La Tray hopes the improved visibility — including being on a thoroughfare — will be a boost to sales. Across the street is Harrison Lofts, a 60-unit apartment complex that opened late last year.

Her bakery specializes in pastries, sweets, breads and pizza with dough and sauce made from scratch. With a location between St. Ambrose University and Palmer College of Chiropractic's campuses, she said she plans to try selling pizza by the slice from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At night, the bakery is open for pizza sales, handled by her sons, Justin and Quenton Schutter.  She said their wives, Ally and Kaylene, respectively, "keep me organized."

Eastside Bakery's hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It is closed Sunday and Monday.

The Eastside Bakery's arrival fills one of the most common requests made by residents — a bakery and a place the serves pizza, said Scott Tunnicliff, director of the Hilltop Campus Village. "The idea of pizza by the slice has come up frequently — especially from St. Ambrose students."

He said St. Paul's assistance in the project is a perfect example of how all the neighborhood's stakeholders are working together to rejuvenate the central city business district. 'We're just pleased she fell in love with the building," Tunnicliff said.

According to Tunnicliff, the structure was a pharmacy in the 1920s, but has housed many different types of businesses since. It has been vacant at least five years, he said.  

La Tray said it was difficult to leave the store where her startup bakery began and had built a loyal following. Her customers, she said, "didn't want to see us move, but they understand our situation." 

(6) comments


When Eastside Bakery starts selling vitamins, then that's the time Greatest Grains should begin to worry. Eastside Bakery has wonderful baked goods and excellent pizza. I will continue to go to Greatest Grains for my vitamins and Eastside Bakery for their baked goods. Best of luck in your new location!


Trust me - their pizza is the BEST - it will not be in competition with Greatest Grains because they make a different kind of pizza. I love Greatest Grains as a store but I do not go there for my pizza. Love both places!


Nikki has the best cream cheese Danish in the Quad Cities! I also love her brownies and peanut butter cookies, and the cream puff. Okay, everything she makes is great. I highly recommend the Eastside Bakery. Good luck Nikki!


I always so enjoyed stepping into the East Side Bakery. Miss La Trey was always so hospitable and sweet and humble, it felt like stepping back to a slower, more genuine time. And her confections are DELECTIBLE. I wish her (and her boys) all the success on the Hilltop. And as far as competing with existing businesses, I think there is room for both, and I'm a HUGE fan of Greatest Grains. Miss La Trey is more specialized in bakery delights, and the pizza will be different from what Greatest Grains has. I think that assuming they will be cut-throat competitors, instead of friendly, supportive neighbors, is a little over-dramatic. I will definitely be visiting both whenever I can.


Greatest Grains sells delicious pizza by the slice every day. Serving several options including vegetarian and homemade sausage. They also have many bakery items-all made in the store. I am amazed that Hilltop continues to recruit businesses that directly compete with existing business.


Good Luck and we will see you there

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