Building History

We feel so fortunate to be in such a unique and stunning building and we are often asked what the history of this place is, so we thought we’d share that with you!

The iconic iron bridge was constructed in 1894, allowing the trolley to cross the Elkhart River. In the background you can see the Old Bag Factory, operating as the Cosmo Buttermilk Soap Co. at the time. Photo via the Goshen News.

The iconic iron bridge was constructed in 1894, allowing the trolley to cross the Elkhart River. In the background you can see the Old Bag Factory, operating as the Cosmo Buttermilk Soap Co. at the time. Photo via the Goshen News.

Built in 1896, the building originally housed the Cosmo Buttermilk Soap Co., manufacturing fine laundry and bath soap as well as toilet paper. Strategically located next to the railroad, the 80,000 square foot building was perfect for getting soap shipments out and across the country. If you look at the outside of the bar door in the Ballroom Suite, which was originally the third floor safe, you can still see the beautiful Cosmo Buttermilk Soap Co. logo.


In 1910, the building was purchased by the Chicago-Detroit Bag Company, and later the Chase Bag Company after a merger. The building was renovated and began making specialty bags and items, including the sheer white paper used in Hershey Kiss wrappers. The Chase Bag Company continued to occupy the building until 1982 when it officially closed its doors.


The building sat unoccupied until 1984 when it was privately purchased and restored into a custom wood furniture shop. Eventually, other artists came to the Old Bag Factory and it became a haven for local artists to showcase and sell their work. The building changed ownership again in 2010 and continued to grow, adding restaurants, a concert venue (the Gallery) and more shops.

The term “bagology” was coined during the time that the Chase Bag Factory was operating, meaning “to elevate the production of bags to the level of science.”

The term “bagology” was coined during the time that the Chase Bag Factory was operating, meaning “to elevate the production of bags to the level of science.”

Bread & Chocolate occupied the third floor when renovations were complete, also in 2010. The third floor renovations included adding in the full service kitchen, bathrooms and offices, as well as restoring the Ballroom Suite. We love that the renovations were able to maintain the integrity of the historical building with the original hardwood floors, exposed beams and beautiful brick!

Photo by Grant Beachy

Photo by Grant Beachy

We hope that you enjoy the history and beauty of the building as much as we do!

Real Wedding: Sally & Dan


Sally and Dan had the best day ever! From the very beginning of the planning process, I knew that they would be easy to work with due to their laid back personalities. I appreciated their focus on their guests and wanting to make sure that their guests were comfortable, happy and having a great time. Their fall wedding was perfect. Sally looked stunning and Dan looked handsome. As you can tell by the pictures, their guests had an amazing time!

Sally and Dan also had a rock-star team of vendors! Grant Beachy did an amazing job of capturing their day. Blake from The Music Place kept the party going all night long. Snapdragon Designs provided gorgeous florals. Thank you to this team, and to Sally and Dan, for an amazing night!

“Thank you so much for helping us have the wedding of our dreams! Our day was perfect and Bread & Chocolate was the perfect venue! We appreciate all of the help you provided throughout the planning process and especially the day of the wedding! You made the process so easy. We received a lot of positive feedback on the venue and especially the food - we couldn’t agree more!” - Sally & Dan


Real Wedding: Jessica & Craig

This “Real Wedding” post is going to go much different than our normal ones since it’s my own! I am often asked questions about my own wedding here at Bread & Chocolate and 4 areas of advice that I would give to current and potential couples planning their wedding. I wrote another blog post about planning tips a few months ago (which can be read here). It’s been a little over two years since my wedding and these tips still ring true!

TIP: Hire professional vendors you trust

Having a professional team that you trust on your wedding day makes the biggest difference not only on your wedding day but the entire planning process and the way you feel looking back on your day. Ashley Dru captured the best moments on our wedding day, made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera and took a ton of candid shots, all of which were really important to my husband and I. I didn’t give Ashley a list of “must have” wedding photos because I really trusted her and wanted her, and her second shooter, to take the lead. For flowers, Camille’s Floral went above and beyond! I walked into my first appointment with Tracy with a hodgepodge of ideas and she took them all and came up with the theme that I used throughout the entire planning process. In addition to having absolutely gorgeous flowers, Tracy and her team did all of the set up and tear down. I set up my seating chart and guest book and that was literally all the decorating I did, 5 minutes tops. Instead of worrying about decorating or setting up the venue, I spent the entire weekend with all of my family and friends which is invaluable. Hiring professional vendors you trust makes ALL the difference on your wedding day, trust me.

The sweetest little touch Tracy and her team did to jazz up this wheelchair. I loved this detail.

The sweetest little touch Tracy and her team did to jazz up this wheelchair. I loved this detail.


TIP: Have a wedding that truly represents you

Craig and I decided on a brunch wedding, for many different reasons, but mostly just because it felt like us. A little nontraditional? Absolutely! There were also a lot of wedding traditions we didn’t do because they just didn’t feel comfortable to us. The day after our wedding I remember my brother telling me how the entire day just totally felt like Craig and I. Out of all of the many compliments we got, that was one I will never forget because that’s what truly meant the most to us. Do what makes you comfortable and what truly feels like a celebration that is devoted to you and your lives together!

First looks are great!

First looks are great!


TIP: Be flexible

Working in this industry I knew that I couldn’t expect that everything would go as planned on my wedding day, and I was prepared to not care. After our reception at Bread & Chocolate, we planned an outdoor after party nearby (with no tent or rain plan). The weather forecast all week for Saturday was 80-100% chance of rain but I knew I had absolutely no control over the weather so I decided not to stress about it. It poured entire morning of the wedding and then right after the ceremony the sun came out and it was honestly, the most perfect day. It’s important to remember that there may be something on your wedding day may not go exactly as planned and that’s okay - at the end of the day you are married to the love of your life!

Copy of Jessica+Craig_Portraits_019.jpg

TIP: Buy a comfortable wedding dress

This might be a strange one but trust me, if you feel uncomfortable in your dress it will definitely show in your wedding pictures. When you are comfortable, you will feel (and look) confident! I was in my dress for 18+ hours and I was never once uncomfortable which I was so thankful for! It was so fun being able to wear my dress around all day because honestly, I’ll never be able to do it again! In addition to your own dress, make sure your attendants and family feel comfortable with what they are wearing too. When you are picking out bridesmaids dresses, be sure to ask your bridesmaids how they feel in the dress. You want your friends and family members to feel just as great on your wedding day!

Jessica and Craig-Reception-0173.jpg
Jessica and Craig-Reception-0078.jpg

It truly was the best day of our lives and we wouldn’t have changed a thing!

- Jessica