Whether it’s the mouth-watering donuts, the much revered pretzel sticks, the popular wedding and birthday cakes, the melt-in-your-mouth apple fritters, or the tasty, big cookies, the Dexter Bakery has been a popular stop for people of all ages for many years, and a destination for everyone from school children to bicyclists.
On Thursday, December 3, the Dexter Bakery celebrated its 100th birthday. On this day like any other day, the bakery opened bright and early at 5 a.m. Soon after, folks from 102.9 W4 Country FM radio came by to do their morning show from the bakery.
While the music and talk were adding to the energy in the bakery, State Rep. Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline) stopped by with a tribute-a document from the State of Michigan that she signed along with Governor Rick Snyder and State Senator Joe Hyne. The document also has a seal from Ninety-Eighth Legislature At Lansing, dated December 3, 2015. It states:
“LET IT BE KNOWN, That it is a special honor and distinct privilege to acknowledge and commemorate the Dexter Bakery on reaching its hundredth year in business. For one hundred years the Bakery has helped support the spirit of the Dexter community, and this milestone is truly a cause for commendation. One hundred years is a great achievement, and the Dexter Bakery’s longevity has been an anchor in an ever-changing community that helps preserve a sense of history and local culture.
The Dexter Bakery has been a staple on Main Street in downtown Dexter since its opening in 1915. To this day, it continues to be a favorite place to stop in and enjoy a treat while touring the charming downtown area. The city of Dexter and surrounding communities alike credit the Bakery’s longevity to its delicious baked goods and vintage decor. It has long been a local gathering place where neighbors can sit and talk over a freshly baked pastry. There is something for everyone to appreciate at the bakery, as its menu has expanded over the years to include gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and vegan options to be able to serve all members of the community. The bakery has been part of Dexter and its citizens’ lives for generations, and will continue to carry on its tradition of excellent quality of service to the community long into the future.
IN SPECIAL TRIBUTE, Therefore, This document is signed and dedicated to commend the Dexter Bakery on its hundredth anniversary. It is an extraordinary honor to be able to congratulate such a longstanding business in the Dexter community, and we extend our heartfelt congratulations for this milestone and look forward to many more years to come.”
The Dexter Bakery has had a number of owners over the years, but the venue is still the same-8101 Main Street in Dexter.
Karen Dudek and her husband, Michael, have owned the Dexter Bakery for the last 7-and-a-half years. They have two children, Jacob and Laurel, and have lived in Dexter since 1992.
“I feel good about keeping a business going that has been here so long,” said Karen Dudek. “People here take ownership of the bakery. I’ve been trying to keep the integrity, but I know that times are changing. I’ve tried to offer a bigger variety of items to keep people coming in.”
Dudek, who has a staff of 18 full and part-time employees, has added soup and stuffed pretzels to the selection, and expanded the payment options by accepting credit cards.
Maya McAlinden is part of the bakery’s counter staff.
“I would work her for free,” said McAlinden. “I love my job. Everybody here supports each other, and we work together well.”
“I have the best boss, and I love getting to do something different every day,” said baker and cake decorator Becky Schaffier.
“It never gets boring, and you get to be creative,” said Kathie Chan, also a baker and cake decorator.
“We sell comfort foods,” said Anne Duffy, who coordinates social media for the bakery. “People like to congregate here. It’s a positive thing for the community.”
Those in attendance Thursday agreed.
“I’ve been coming here once a week for the last 20 years for the coffee and goodies,” said customer Louise Howland.
Steven and Mary Ann Howard recently moved to the area.
“We have family here and have enjoyed getting acquainted with Dexter and the bakery when we’ve visited,” said Mary Ann Howard. “We love the bread.”
“I am absolutely a fan,” said Bob Wallin. “This is the only place in Washtenaw County where you can get German cookies. I’ve been coming here for over 50 years.”
Wallin’s brother Ron Wallin and friend Joann Leal, both from Mackinaw City, make a point of stopping by the Dexter Bakery every time they’re in the area.
“I like the ambiance,” said Ron Wallin. “It is a treat to come here.”