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Paula Campbell
Posted 9/13/22

Last week I went over to Back to Bakers Bar and Restaurant for some dinner with a friend. He had his dog with us so we ate in their outside garden. 

While there our very nice server reminded …

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Last week I went over to Back to Bakers Bar and Restaurant for some dinner with a friend. He had his dog with us so we ate in their outside garden. 

While there our very nice server reminded us that Bakers would be having a free buffet and a cash bar to celebrate their annual Customer Appreciation Day. 

I went and joined some of my very happy neighbors enjoying drinks and the live music as we all celebrated the sixth successful year of this very popular restaurant and bar. There was a wonderful buffet available but, of course, I forgot about it and ate my lunch at Burger King in Port Jervis – a decision I instantly regretted. 

I had the opportunity to speak with the gracious owners Kerri and her husband Alex Mellon. 

From my view Alex and Kerri represent the new “mom and pop” business owners we have so many of here in Highland – entrepreneurs who took a colossal leap of faith and made their business a success through grit, vision, and very hard work. 

The Town of Highland has a strong tradition of these marvelous “mom and pop” businesses – Judit and Konrad at the Yulan Country Store, Bill, and Cindy Lenczuk at The Shrewd Fox Brewery (named 2022 Best Beer in New York State for their 3 Dog Indian Pale Ale,) Lou and Frank Monteleone and their families for their multiple successful and innovative businesses in Eldred, Nonna Hall of Nonetta and Friends Creative for pottery, art exhibits and classes, Sonia and Mike Kidney of Countryside Plumbing and Heating, body shop magicians Keith and Barry Blaut at the Spring House Garage, and several generations of Pete Finck’s family at Sand Beach Bar, Restaurant and Beach Club in Highland Lake. 

I recently counted over sixty successful small businesses – all paying taxes that have become the new economic engine driving the rapid growth of the Town of Highland. 

If I remember their story from a previous interview I did a few years ago, Kerri and Alex (a CIA trained chef) were living in New York City and a neighbor mentioned a relative was retiring and selling a small struggling bar in a village called Barryville in the Catskills. 

“So we crossed our fingers for luck, packed up everything, said good bye to our family and friends in Brooklyn and moved to Barryville,” Kerri told me. “It was tough but we were so fortunate that the restaurant got such great support from the community so we could build up our business; and when the pandemic hit and everything closed down I wasn’t sure we would be able to stay open, but our take-out business and our loyal customers came through and supported us through it all and we were able to stay in business-something we won’t forget.” 

At the Customer Appreciation Day event I asked Alex about what he felt contributed to their success and he told me “we could not have been here for these years without the hard work and dedication of our staff who show up day in and day out and get the job done. 

We could not have done it without them. The support we have gotten from the local community has been a blessing and the mainstay of our business and we would not be here celebrating these past six years without their continued patronage.” 

For what’s next, Kerri said that their son Jackson is starting his first day of school soon which is a family milestone and the restaurant will be closed for the next few weeks so the entire staff can take a much-needed vacation break and enjoy some family time. 

The restaurant will re-open on Thursday, September 29th. Congratulations and thank you to Kerri and Alex and the staff at Back To Bakers and have a great vacation! And a big shout out to the Greater Barryville Chamber of Commerce for their support of our local economy and improving the quality of life in our Highland community.


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