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German bakeries in St. Louis

  • m

I grew up in St. Louis in the late1950s and 1960s. On Saturdays we would go to Soulard market and stop at one or two German bakeries on Cherokee Street in South St. Louis. I don't think these bakeries have survived and I have wracked my brains to remember their names, but I am drawing a blank. any St. Louisans out there who can help?

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  1. Meyer's Bakery was at the corner of Jefferson and Pestalozzi. It closed in the late 1980s.

    1. There a still quite a few traditional bakeries in town, though most of them fled to the county during the 70s and 80s. Federhofers, Lubeley, and MacArthur bakeries are all in the South County area. And in the Ivory Triange on the far south side Carondelet Bakery is still open. All of these are what you are probably thinking of as "German" bakeries, they bake stollen and gooey butter cakes, peanut coffee cake, danish, that kind of thing. Cherokee in the last decade has welcomed a host of new business, many of which are Mexican bakeries, I was on Cherokee this very morning for waffles at Melt, and stopped at Diana's bakery for churros and some big bread rolls (bollilos?) Cherokee has also begun to be quite hip in the past few years, and has at least one terrific new bakery, Whisk, very new-agey in vibe (vegan options, scones of all sorts, and riffs on peanut-butter cups), and if they have the salted caramel cupcakes that day, you owe yourself one. Trust me, and I'm not even that fond of cupcakes as a rule. You know, I often go to Soulard on a Saturday morning and stop on Cherokee street for bread or cupcakes on the way home...things don't change all that much around here...although I DO sometimes go to Gus' Pretzels on the way home instead...I have to pick up some sort of treat if I want to bribe these teenagers into helping me carry in all my swag from Soulard.

      1. Meyers, of which ameliemarie spoke, still smelled like a bakery years after the ovens were turned off. Carondolet is probably the closest to the old-fashioned kind. I moved to STL the last time in '72 and had lived there intermittently for the nearly 10 years before, and I think "German bakery", at least in those years, was like Italian food - the 2nd and 3rd generations' interpretation of it. There was a bakery on South Grand, around where many of the ethnic restaurants are now, that made GBC with a yeast dough rather than a baking powder batter. But seriously, exotically German? Maybe...Rozanek? Far south on Grand near where Bailey Brothers Bar & Grill used to be? Or was that EAstern European?

        3 Replies
        1. re: lemons

          German Bakery/Italian Food...good way to put it, lemons...what was the name of the place up on Grand? We used to get one of their strawberry cream cakes once in a while, and I'm going bananas trying to recall the name of the place.

          1. re: tonifi

            No ideal. I wrote about it once for the Post, but the computer on which it was written is long gone, and I don't think I have the clips any more.

            Ah, wait. Dickmann's. And it was Carondelet that had the yeast crust, not Dickmann's. My notes say Dickmann's was the sweetest, Rozanek's the tenderest and Carondelet (which used to be Doering's) the gooeyest. HTH---

            1. re: lemons

              Those sound like some great notes.

        2. Try Four Seasons Bakery off 70 in St. Charles, highly recommended:

          http://www.4seasonsbakery.com/

          12 Replies
          1. re: ddfry3

            Just went there this morning. LOVE that place!

            1. re: ddfry3

              Also as far as current bakeries Black Bear has some of the recipes from the Lickhalter bakery. I think they are still going.

              1. re: wekick

                Yes, they do have them, and they're still in biz. You can often find them @ farmers' markets, like Tower Grover. Alas, the divine brownie that Lickhalter made is usually not found at their facility, at least when I visit. But that black walnut/oat/chocolate thing is incredible. I know, black walnut is something you either love or hate. But black walnut and chocolate is a transcendent combination, to my mouth.

                1. re: lemons

                  I had read an article about them that they may go out of business, so glad they are still baking. Some of the original partners left. I love black walnuts and make a German brown sugar cookie with them every year for Christmas.

                  1. re: wekick

                    Black Bear has re-structured. a friend worked there a few years ago and said it was a mess. still does from time to time and reports they got their act together.

                    1. re: hill food

                      Well, there's a reason why anarchy never got off the ground. (And Black Bear was founded as an anarchist bakery.)

                      1. re: lemons

                        How in the world does an "anarchist bakery" work? Violent overthrow of the status quo with baked goods? Nobody has scheduled shifts?

                        1. re: ddfry3

                          I have no idea, but it worked. Somehow. Part of it was financed by a parent whose identity I must withold in the interests of professional confidentiality, but if you knew it would be even more...incongruous. I'm thinking all decisions were made by the group. Not how long to bake the brownies, but shifts, etc. I suspect if you google it you could come up with more data.

                          1. re: lemons

                            they had no real managers, just some members were more equal than others. weekly team meetings to negotiate shifts but essentially run by cliques.

                            apparently all that has changed, still a bit loosey-goosey, but a more standard business model. (lemons, I think I know of the parent you refer, that particular offspring/founding partner is a great person but always been something of a dreamer)

                            I love their olive bread

                            1. re: hill food

                              I worked for a place that wanted to get rid of the managers and rule by consensus. What mess. People formed factions with their own interests.( Ahhhh sort of like the mess we have now in politics!!!) Decisions were hard to come and always second guessing. Terrible way to run a business.

                              1. re: hill food

                                I appreciate your discretion. It might be a tad awkward....

                                1. re: lemons

                                  well yeah, esp. since the ones I'm thinking of are such nice people.

              2. I was just telling my daughter Amy about those wonderful S aturday mornings when my Dad would take us to get an apricot or cherry melba and those wonderful poppyseed horns.Those were the days my friends,,they're gone but will never be forgotten and thanks for the replys because I didn't know Black Bear has kept some of their recipes....guess where i'm going Saturday!!!

                3 Replies
                1. re: jackieliebman

                  I hear they're still good, my friend who was a founder is no longer involved (I still have NO idea how that business plan was funded exactly and would never ask) there was never an issue in the kitchen it was mostly front-of-house nonsense.

                  1. re: jackieliebman

                    Let us know how it is and what they have now.
                    One of my favorite places, though not in St Louis, ran on similar ideology. It had a much greater emphasis on the dining experience and outreach in the community. They closed in the midst of great success because everyone got interested in other projects.

                    1. re: jackieliebman

                      I wrote two essays, both inspired by Saturday morning trips to Soulard Market and the bakeries. You can see them on American Food Roots:

                      http://www.americanfoodroots.com/50-s...

                      http://www.americanfoodroots.com/feat...