In 2012, Pat Gleason came from Chicago with his wife to live in Washington Park. His dream was to open his own bakery where he could work downstairs and live upstairs. He found a building that piqued his interest. It was a walk-up apartment over a store —a layout that provided a convenient space for him to work downstairs and live upstairs. The couple made extensive repairs to the building. They demolished walls, bought new building materials, and fixed the roof. When Pat moved in he did not know anything about the neighborhood. He was familiar with Milwaukee and liked the location because it was near Miller Park and Interstate 94.
Pat is very careful about his products. He wants to make sure that his costumers are satisfied. As a result his bakery menu is based on what his customers like. He always prepares fresh food, preferring to cook everything instead of buying prepared food from markets. He eats everything he sells — if it's not good enough for him, he will not sell it to others.
In addition to the bakery, Pat has another passion. He loves photography and has recently opened a photography school adjoining his café. He hopes that local youth will attend the Midwest School of Photography and gain necessary skills in composition and digital photography.
His involvement with the community goes beyond providing good food. Pat was elected member of the board of Washington Park Partners, and is currently engaged in a collaborative effort to reduce crime and improve the community. Soft-spoken and unassuming, Pat Gleason is a true community hero.
Patrick Gleason, interview by Phyllis Reske, June 2014.