One of the best things about a small town is often the corner bakery. A bakery, like the local barbershop, and cafe have an appeal. Amid all of the fudge shops, souvenir stores, hotels and ferry boat docks that spill out onto Mackinac Island’s bustling Main Street stands the little gem of  Marc’s Double Oven Bakery. What makes it unique is its’ owner and baker Marc Bobinsky. The Double Oven can also bake you Mr.. B’s Dog Bones®, a registered trade make if you like.


One of the best things about a small town is often the corner bakery. A bakery, like the local barbershop, and cafe have an appeal. Amid all of the fudge shops, souvenir stores, hotels and ferry boat docks that spill out onto Mackinac Island’s bustling Main Street stands the little gem of  Marc’s Double Oven Bakery. What makes it unique is its’ owner and baker Marc Bobinsky. The Double Oven can also bake you Mr.. B’s Dog Bones®, a registered trade make if you like.    
    The bakery opens daily at 5:30 a.m. Bobinsky peddles in on his large-fender yellow bicycle every morning at 4 a.m to begin to bake. He and his wife Camille have lived for over thirty years at their home in Harrisonville on the Island. This is the largest clustering of year around residents, and is located in an area beyond the Grand Hotel and the big horse barns of Mackinac Island Carriage Tours.
    Marc started out on Mackinac as an elementary school teacher and Camille taught math in 1978. She opted for a booking keeping job with the Arnold Transit Ferry and Marc, known by generations of Island school children, as “Mr. B.”, retired from the Mackinac Island Public Schools in 2002. They are the parents of two daughters, Laura and Anna who attended school on the Island, and are now married, living off-Island with their own growing families. Often Marc, wound up looking after the grandchildren. It was in this transitional period that Marc began to take his hobby of baking to a higher degree.    
During the summer of 2003 Marc applied to the Grand Hotel to work in the pastry department. He worked the late shift, and did everything from making breads and rolls, to complicated desert bars. He returned for a second demanding season. Bobinsky credits fellow baker Jerry Brown, from Calumet City, Illinois as his mentor.    
The following winter he was given an assorted dog bone cookie cutter set for Christmas, and using up some household baking supplies, he fooled around with the idea of baking up a batch of dog biscuits. He distributed them to his canine loving neighbors on Mackinac. That winter while at the Sportsmen’s Trade Show in his native Cleveland, Ohio he saw similar dog treats for sale. Then in 2003 he began to make and sell them in earnest from his home. Bobinsky may have been an elementary teacher, but he holds a B.A . degree in business from Michigan Tech, as well as a post graduate degree from Harvard.
Mr. B’s dog bones became a licensed business with the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture, as well as registered in Ohio, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The idea for more space to produce them, along with the idea to open up a real bake shop, took hold.
Mackinac Island was only one of many spots that Marc considered to establish his enterprise. Cheboygan’s long time Kretchman’s Coffeehouse Kafe and the Just-rite Bakery in St. Ignace were considered too.
But, it can only be attributed to fate that the timing was right. A space was open on Mackinac Island with the closing of one small sweet shop.   
While the hassle of delivery service to the Island was and still is a constant challenge, the fact that the Bobinsky’s love the quality of life on Mackinac seemed to override the negatives.
Bobinsky installed new equipment into his small shop. He began simply with breads, and a few pastries. By mid summer of his first year many locals, especially the cab drivers, carriage tour drivers and dock porters were gobbling up his kolacky rolls and grabbing a coffee to chase it down. Kolacky, a Polish pastry, went in tandem with Marc’s proud Polish heritage. To even out the ethnic Italian background of Camille, he makes on order delicious cannoli.
The next “hit” was his huge granola and white chocolate chip cookie. That’s the one cottagers refer to as the “Health Cookie”. Once the local workers, cottagers, and early morning visitors found out about him, it did not take long for the sailors and yachters to be standing in line outside the front door.    
The Double Oven is picky about its ingredients for the baked goods, as well as its dog treats. Marc is a proud member of the Pure Michigan Foods Council. In fact the Michigan companies whose products he uses are displayed right on the wall by his breads. He normally sells fifteen different types of baked goods in a day. The cinnamon rolls, maple pecan twists, blueberry muffins are best sellers, along with he and his wife’s favorite, small individual glazed maple sour cream coffee cakes. Yum.    
Other local shops on Mackinac carry some of his bagels and breads as well. Marc makes up to three dozen loaves a day. There is always a rotation of wheat, sourdough, and baguettes. Now he also carries hand decorated, super frosted cupcakes.  In the refrigerated shelf chocolate bonbons and petite-fours beckon. This season Marc took on another baker to help out with the demand. He sells hot coffee, as well as water and juices, in the shop. There is a small eating space, and free WiFi. A place like his is full of daily regulars and Marc, who loves to talk with people, makes it a point to do so with everyone who comes in.    
The Double Oven is open daily from May until November. His breads, rolls, and dog biscuits can all be ordered ahead of time. Mr. B’s Bones ship out UPS Priority or UPS Ground to the Great Lakes area. But, if its a butter tart or a croissant you are craving, you have to come to Mackinac for the real dough. The bakery closes at 5:30.p.m. Marc locks the door, grabs his yellow beater bike and peddles up the Grand Hill for home. As the old adage goes, “Pies and cakes get done, a baker’s life is never finished”.n

Candi Dunnigan, is a writer for the St.Ignace News and The Mackinac Island Town Crier. Her weekly column, "Horse Tales" is in its 12th year.
She has been both a seasonal and year around resident on Mackinac Island for decades. She resides at Easterly Cottage with her family and an assorted menagerie of dogs, cats, horses, chipmunks, and loons. Candi received an B.A. in Western Civilization from Lake Erie College, and holds an M.A. in Theater, from the University of Michigan. Off season finds her at her small horse farm in Grass Lake, MI. In her spare time, Candi is an international trail rider, and free lance writer for various magazines.