We have 5 generations working here now. My daughter, my son, my daughter-in-law, kids... My grandfather helped get it started with my father, who sold the business to me. Now that I’m there, my children and grandchildren work with me too. I’ve had aunts and uncles, in-laws and cousins, all sorts of relatives working here. It’s truly a family business.
When you have a small business like that, everyone does everything. I go in early in the morning to work. Others come in later to run the shop and decorate cookies and cakes. Things change over the years, but we still make everything from scratch.
Years ago, people would come in for cinnamon rolls and coffee cakes. You didn’t get a lot of fancy orders then. That part has really changed. Now the younger generations want things cream-filled and jelly-filled, and all kinds of fancy treats.
Cookies and fry cakes are our best seller. I make a few different batches of homemade cookies that I don’t think anyone else around here makes: walnut crunch and Turkish macaroons. We also make homemade, handmade bread.
We’re of German and Scottish descent, and we still use all of our original recipes. We’ve had those recipes in the family and in the bakery for generations.
The best thing about owning a bakery is the people. The people who work with you, the people who run businesses next to you and the people who come into the shop. We’ve had some customers for 40 or 50 years. Now they bring their children and grandchildren in, and they remember coming into our first location on Hamilton Street. When someone tells you how good your treats are after all these years—that’s the good stuff."
- Chuck Kemerer, Hamilton Home Bakery