The Bakery’s Vintage Rebranding

Moving away from its smoke shop roots, The Bakery evolves into a niche concept store for exotic snacks, collectable items — and now, curated vintage clothes

The Bakery on Miracle Mile reflects owner Raameel Anwaar’s passions, showcasing the phases of his eclectic interests, including exotic snacks, craft beers, and hot sauces. Its newest addition is thrifted vintage clothes, a hobby he started when he was 10 years old, buying jerseys and selling them on eBay. This latest fixation has led to a sort of rebranding, ditching the majority of The Bakery’s smoke shop inventory in favor of expanding the back of his store, known as 1-800-VintageNow.

The small-scale vintage store started thanks to Anwaar’s good friend Nathan Rodjam, who was working at The Bakery when he suggested putting some clothing racks in the back. Now, eight months later, Anwaar finds himself eagerly thrifting six days a week. “When I’m looking through racks and I find something I didn’t know existed, I need to have it so badly — that feeling for me is priceless. To be able to replicate that for someone else means the world to me.”

I connected with that sentiment as a customer, scoring my new favorite vintage Tommy Hilfiger jean jacket at his store. I also witnessed his giddiness sorting through racks at a Goodwill store just outside of the Gables on Bird Road. Having never thrifted before, Anwaar opened my eyes to the minute details behind finding hidden gems in mountains of used clothes — from feeling the quality of the materials to knowing the age of the item thanks to its inner tags. “That’s the whole point of coming [to 1-800-VintageNow],” says Anwaar. “You can skip the hard part of digging through bins for hours.”

Anwaar emphasizes that he is cutting ties with his smoke shop past, getting rid of his glassware and rolling materials. “It’s just not our aesthetic or what we like to sell,” Anwaar says. “At first, it was something that we thought would make money, but all that was selling was the stuff we were actually passionate about” — including the store’s unique collection of snacks from around the globe, like potato chips from Japan or cereals from Mexico.

Anwaar plans to expand 1-800-VintageNow to the front of the store, with a space dedicated to vintage jerseys, focusing mainly on Miami sports teams. He also wants to give new life to jeans and shirts by working with local craftsmen to upcycle pieces. Processes include distressing the pants and adding branded patches to them, and printing cool designs over old tees.

“I want to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem,” Anwaar says. “What a lot of fast fashion companies are doing is pumping out new designs and new clothes — very low-quality stuff because it’s cheaper — that you’ll wash once and throw it out. Then you order new stuff, and more landfills get filled. The way to combat that is to reuse and upcycle.”

As he moves towards a more family-friendly store, Anwaar is also stocking smaller trinkets he’s found throughout the years, from rare Hot Wheels cars to collectable bobblehead figures — not to mention disposable and vintage film cameras. “It’s the coolest way to take pictures, because you’re not going to see them for a while,” he says. “You value every shot [when] you only have 27 pictures to take.” Like his store, it’s all about enjoying the experience.

269 Miracle Mile (inside The Bakery)