The day Corina Gaffney lost her job as a civil prosecutor, she decided to pursue her dream job — one entirely different from her old gig.

Her layoff has given rise to a whole new career.

She’s the new owner of Great Lakes Baking Co. in Hudson, a 20-year-old bakery that’s a hometown favorite as well as a draw for bread fans throughout the region.

“There’s bad stress and there’s good stress, and this is good stress,” the former assistant Summit County prosecutor said as she was finishing a long day at the shop at 85 S. Main St. (state Route 91).

Gaffney, 53, is working 18-hour days, with all the paperwork associated with taking over a business on top of overseeing the bakery that offers several types of bread daily, along with muffins, scones, cookies and other treats.

And she couldn’t be more thrilled.

“I’m living the dream,” she said.

The store began 20 years ago and was doing well when Gaffney began investigating whether to buy it, so she’s not planning any big changes. She’d like to add laminated pastries — with alternating layers of dough and butter, such as croissants and Danish — as well as some European breads.

“I’ll be sharing my German heritage and adding a few more German things to the menu,” She said. “We don’t have a good German pumpernickel … and I’d like to add some tarts and tortes.”

Those additions likely won’t come this year, though, she said.

Gaffney first spotted the bakery-for-sale ad on the internet last fall, and the deal was finalized June 11.

Former owner John MacMillan was Gaffney’s age — 53 — in 1998 when he left his career as a manufacturing executive and turned his hobby of baking bread into his own enterprise.

Over the years, Great Lakes, which uses no bleached flours and sources ingredients locally whenever it can, picked up many fans, including many who have never been to the Hudson shop; they know it from farmers markets.

Look for it at the Countryside Conservancy’s market in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park as Gaffney continues the tradition. The market is in Howe Meadow, off Riverview Road, 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Sept. 27.

Aromas permeate the shop daily as Gaffney is keeping the baking schedule. Each Tuesday through Saturday, she or another baker is at the shop early turning out loaves of white, wheat, baguette, cinnamon swirl, ciabatta and rustic French, along with cheddar pepperoni rolls, cookies and other treats.

Other breads come out of the ovens just once a week, including Jewish rye, kalamata olive and challah.

The shop has several wholesale accounts, including a couple of local restaurants.

Gaffney was an assistant prosecutor in the civil division of Summit County Common Pleas Court when she was laid off five years ago.

“The very day I was laid off, I was like, ‘Well, I’m going to make sure that this is something that was the best thing that ever happened to me,’ ” she said.

An avid baker, she’d been toying with the idea of getting into commercial baking for years. After she was laid off, she worked as an unpaid apprentice at the Blue Door Bakery and Café to test the waters and gain experience.

She began looking more than four years ago for spaces to possibly start a bakery, as well as established bakeries for sale. Last October, she landed on a blind ad and was excited to discover it was the Great Lakes Baking Co.

Gaffney, who has also sung in various local bands, and her husband, Michael, are moving from New Franklin to Hudson to be closer to the bakery. Michael Gaffney is president of Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio.

“I’m jumping in with both feet to become a member of the community,” Corina Gaffney said.

Pizza night on Saturdays is continuing. The website is www.greatlakesbaking company.org and shop is on Facebook. Phone is 330-342-5878.

Ukrainian Festival

This Saturday is the annual Ukrainian Festival, featuring homemade pierogi, stuffed cabbage rolls and a host of yummy traditional treats, at the Holy Ghost Catholic Church.

The fest — featuring eating, dancing, a polka band and more — will run from 1 to 8 p.m.

Last year, organizers greatly increased the amount of baked goods for sale, and they’re doing a repeat this year.

Available will be butter-rich paska bread will, along with kolach rolls, sweet varenyky (pierogi stuffed with fruit), keiflies (cookies made of cream cheese pastry wrapped around a filling), pliatsok pastry and more.

The church is at 1866 Brown St., just north of East Waterloo Road. Look for the big tent.

Ukrainian items will be available for purchase. Admission is free. For details, go to the church’s Facebook page (Holy Ghost Akron) or website hgucc.org.

Green bakery closing

The West Side Bakery in Green is temporarily shutting down July 14 after five years.

Barb Talevich opened the sister location to her Akron bakery in 2010. Talevich stressed that the Akron operation is not affected by the closing and she is looking for a new, smaller spot in Green.

“We just want to tell everybody Akron is perfect. We’re not going anywhere in Akron,” Talevich told me this week. The Akron location will fill any orders for cakes, pies, cookies and other treats once the Green shop closes.

Seating about 40 people, the Green location — a storefront space in the Town Park Center shopping plaza — has proven too big. It was formerly occupied by Blake’s Cafe & Cupcakery and an Arabica coffee shop.

“We love being in the city of Green,” Talevich said. “We loved their support. The customers have been great. We just need a smaller space.”

The lease is up on the Green property, she said, so it seemed like a good idea to look for another spot

The Akron store is at 2303 W. Market St. in the Pilgrim Square shopping area. The Green store is at 1840 Town Park Blvd., off Massillon Road, in Town Park Plaza.

Talevich said the Green store’s manager will become a pastry chef at the Akron operation, and two of her co-workers have been offered employment at the Akron store. Two other Green employees are heading off to college and another worker there has her first teaching job.

Phone for the Green store is 330-899-9968; for Akron, 330-836-4101. The bakery has a Facebook page.

Dan’s Dogs reopening

Dan’s Dogs, the popular Medina hot-dog eatery that abruptly closed May 29, is reopening Wednesday under new ownership: Medina residents Jason and Dana Graf, John McCale and fiancée Randi Suliks, and Copley-area resident Joe Inglett.

The name has been changed to the Original Dan’s Dogs Diner. Three area families are the new owners of the small restaurant at 111 W. Liberty St.

A grand opening celebration July 6 will include a giveaway of a free hot dog every week for a year to the first 52 people in line before doors open at 11 a.m. A portion of the proceeds from that day’s sales will benefit Feeding Medina County.

Paul and Terra Davis had been leasing the business, which began in 1991, for about three years when they shut down in May.

Raising Cane’s opens

Raising Cane’s has opened in Kent, the Louisiana-based chain’s second location in Northeast Ohio.

Its simple menu offers just chicken fingers, in four meal options and a kids combo. Fans say that by focusing on just one food, the restaurant is able to offer speedy service and chicken that rivals competitors’.

The Kent location — actually in Franklin Township — is at 1801 E. Main St. (state Route 59), east of the Kent State University campus and Alpha Drive.

Earlier this year, the chain opened a location in Jackson Township, at 5455 Dressler Road NW, less than a mile from Kent State University at Stark and Stark State College.

Rib, White & Blue

The National Rib, White & Blue Festival in downtown Akron opens Friday for a longer-than-usual run of six days, through July 4. Eleven vendors — including five from Ohio — will hawk barbecue on South Main Street.

I’m always blown away by how long-lived this fest is. Including earlier versions, it’s in its 41st year.

Music is scheduled daily, and the 122nd Army National Guard Band will play July 4, followed by fireworks at 9:45 p.m.

Barbecue vendors are BBQ Master of Georgia; Cowboy’s BBQ and Texas Pit BBQ, both of Texas; Pig Foot BBQ, Pig Tails BBQ, Fine Smoke BBQ, Hog Wild and Off the Bone, all of Ohio; Big Boned BBQ and Carolina Rib King, both of South Carolina; and Porky Chicks BBQ of Arkansas.

Other food will include sausage sandwiches, steak sandwiches, fried cheese, bloomin’ onions, candy apples, popcorn, cotton candy, funnel cake, pierogis, fries and roasted corn.

Gates open at 11 a.m. Friday, and that night’s music lineup is the Juke Hounds at 7 p.m. and the Bruce in the USA Bruce Springsteen tribute band at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday will be Family FUNtastic Day featuring Slider from the Cleveland Indians and Zippy from the University of Akron. A wristband can be purchased for inflatables and a rock wall.

Admission is free, and parking is free after 6 p.m. on Fridays and weekends at all city-owned parking decks, including the State Street deck next to Lock 3 Park.

Go to http://lock3live.com for more.

Kent Heritage Festival

Also Saturday, the 23rd annual Kent Heritage Festival organized by the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce will run from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., with fireworks scheduled to be set off from Kramer Ball Fields at 10 p.m.

It will offer a variety of festival/fair foods, live music and entertainment on three stages. A children’s play area will include a rock climbing wall and bouncy house.

Admission is free. Kramer Ball Fields are at Fred Fuller Park off Haymaker Parkway in Kent. Go to www.kentbiz.com/events.

Speaker in Kidron

Joe Salatin of Polyface Farms, a farm in Virginia known for its back-to-basics methods, will be the keynote speaker at a Country Living Workshop June 30 at Lehman’s in Kidron.

Cost of the workshop (day pass) is $35, lunch included. Cost for children ages 5 to 12 is $7. For information, go to www.lehmans.com/storeevents.

Wine calendar

• July 9 is the deadline to reserve a space for the Customer Choice Wine Tasting July 12 at the Buehler’s Forest Meadows grocery store in Medina.

The first eight customers to sign up will each pick a wine for all to taste at the 7 p.m. event. Cost is $20. The store is at 275 Forest Meadows. Call 330-725-0535 by July 9.

• The Medina Uncorked Wine Festival near Seville will run from 4 to 9 p.m. July 20 and 2 to 9 p.m. July 21.

General admission is $25, which includes 10 tasting tickets, a glass, entertainment and more.

Proceeds from the event — which also features 16 craft beers — support the Friends of Medina County Parks. Designated driver tickets are $10.

Two events within the festival allow patrons to sip and eat.

Sip & Savor from 6 to 8 p.m. July 20 offers samples from area restaurants along with tastings. Tickets are $50, which includes a festival pass for Friday and an extra glass of wine or beer.

A Twilight Dinner at 6 p.m. July 21 will feature a multi-course dinner with wine pairings prepared by Chef Anthony Scolaro from 111 Bistro in Montville Township. Tickets are $150 and include a weekend festival pass.

The fest will be at Buffalo Creek Retreat of the Medina County Parks, 708 Hubbard Valley Road in Guilford Township near Seville and Route 93 and Interstate 76. For tickets and information, go to www.uncorkedmedina winefest.com.

• Papa Joe’s, 1561 Akron-Peninsula Road, in the Merriman Valley, will feature wines from Fess Parker in California for a dinner at 6:30 p.m. July 20. Cost is $85. Call 330-923-7999 for reservations.

• The Wadsworth Buehler’s grocery at 175 Great Oaks Trail will offer a Wine & Summer BBQ Pairing event at 7 p.m. July 19. Cost is $35. Reservations are required by July 16. Call 330-336-3588.

• 35° Brix, 3875 Massillon Road, Green, will offer a five-course dinner featuring wines from Orin Swift Cellars at 7 p.m. July 19. Cost is $95. Call 330-899-9200 for reservations.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or kbyard@thebeaconjournal.com. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at www.facebook.com.