Dayton bakery described as ‘neighborhood institution’ sets closing date

Evans Bakery, at 700 Troy St. in the Old North Dayton neighborhood, is closing its doors in December.

“We’re just ready to move on,” Jennifer Evans said Monday. “There was no one single thing. We knew it wasn’t going to last forever.”

Evans and her partner, Matt Tepper, resurrected the bakery in 2012 after her parents, Bill and Rosemary, sold it in 2004 to a new owner. Bill and Rosemary owned the bakery for 35 years.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Filled with a desire to do something different with their lives, Evans and Tepper moved from Michigan to Dayton to restore the bakery Evans watched her parents operate. She admits she hated working at the bakery growing up, but “looking back on it, it was wonderful. They taught me a very strong work ethic. They taught me how to get things done and how to just live a good life.”

As the couple nears 10 years at the bakery, they said they are tired and ready to focus on other endeavors, including spending more time with their family, Tepper said.

“We would love to sell the bakery, so that it continues to operate the way people are accustomed to,” Evans said. “If somebody else wants to come in and do some other retail enterprise in here that would be our second best option.”

For nearly 100 years, there has been a bakery on the corner of Troy Street and Warner Avenue, Tepper said. He explained they have a photo of the bakery dating back to at least 1926.

Tepper described the area as an “old time neighborhood” where people walk to their local bakery.

“Even if they don’t still live in the neighborhood, you get people that remember my parents (and) the people that owned it before my parents,” Evans said.

The couple said their favorite memory was reopening the bakery in 2012. Evans recalled a customer starting a countdown clock to the reopening on Facebook.

“There was somebody standing at the front door at 6 a.m. on the day we opened,” Evans said. “It was very nice to have the neighborhood rally around us.”

Tepper recalled Precision Metal Fabrication, located less than two miles down the street, making parts to fix some of their equipment so they could reopen. Some of the equipment used in the bakery dates back to the pre-Evans era when it was Schattschneider Bakery.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

“This is a neighborhood institution and it will be sorely missed,” said Robert Petersen, a customer off and on for about 25 years.

Ruth Mills, 65, said she has been going to the bakery her whole life. A member of the neighborhood, she remembers when it was Schattschneider Bakery.

“We just all know each other in the neighborhood here and (have) been coming here for years,” Mills said. “I’m going to miss it.”

Bill and Rosemary said they are going to miss working with their daughter and the interaction with the community.

“We sold the bakery in 2004 when we retired the first time and it was hard then and it’s a little hard now, but things change,” Rosemary said. “We have appreciated their business over the years and we enjoy doing things that make their celebrations better.”

“We appreciate their loyalty and we always... put out the best product we can every day,” Bill added.

Evans and Tepper said they will continue to live and invest in the neighborhood. Both are a part of the Old North Dayton Neighborhood Association.

The bakery’s last day for customers to buy a selection of treats from their showcase, including doughnuts, will be Saturday, Dec. 17. Evans said they are taking holiday orders through that day for pick up the week of Christmas.

“Hopefully we will have somebody that continues it,” Tepper said.

“If we close and nobody else takes over, there will be no full-service retail bakery left in the city of Dayton,” Evans added.

Evans Bakery is for sale starting at $125,000 which includes the business and equipment, Evans said.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

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