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The German Bakery in Decatur to close tomorrow

300_02After 48 years of supplying Decatur with coffee cakes, strudel, breads, kuchen and iconic gingerbread men, the German Bakery will close up shop tomorrow.

“I hate to be leaving, but there’s really not much I can do,” said owner Gary Welshons, when reached by telephone. “It’s been a rough couple of years.”

This small bakery, which occupies a standalone building on a side street off Lawrenceville Highway is one of the last spots in town that still has the feeling of a old-time town bakery.

Many times, my wife and I tried unsuccessfully to corral our kids through Home Depot next door. Eventually, one of us would get the bright idea to gather up our bored, unruly progeny and walk through the parking lot to the German Bakery so the other could shop for paint in peace. The cookies and gingerbread men were a definite bonus.

If you want one last taste, go tomorrow before 5 p.m.

(2914 White Boulevard, Decatur, 404-296-4336)

(Thanks to reader Julie for the tip.)

27 comments Add your comment

Patty

January 15th, 2010
8:29 pm

We used to live within walking distance of the German Bakery when our children were little. I walked there many times with my sons and daughter in her stroller for fresh brochen, rye bread and cookies. Great memories. We moved away 14 years ago but I would stop in occasionally to pick up bread if I was in town. Then I got diagnosed with celiac disease and couldn’t even do that.

E

January 15th, 2010
8:41 pm

Sad. Best simple chocolate layer cake in town I think. And they would make it with pecans coating the outside for me! Its been a rough few years for us too so we haven’t been by in almost 2 years – sad to see we weren’t the only ones.

Mister (Apple) Fritter

January 16th, 2010
8:56 am

I was the first customer at The German Bakery this morning….actually sitting in their parking lot, waiting for them to open their doors at 8am. Bittersweet day, lots of memories. Back in the late 70s, when they were located at Toco Hills, I used to stop by in the morning on my way to work and buy hot apple fritters for my staff as a treat. Got a final half dozen for the wife and me today, plus a commerative coffee cake for her to take to her office and share on Monday,

By the time they had finished serving me, there were already another 5 or 6 folks in line. Lots of stories being shared, hugs all around, even a few tears shed. Some regular customers even went back into the kitchen area to say their good-byes to baking staff. Met one gentleman who had even coached the owner’s son in youth baseball. And now that kid is a young man, getting married this summer. Passages.

We will have lost another long time Atlanta treasure with the closing of The German Bakery today.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The way it goes

January 16th, 2010
11:52 am

I haven’t lived here that long but the comments so far sum up the way of our lives – if we don’t support our local businesses, at least SOMETIMES, then they have no choice to close up. Apart from moving away, you say you haven’t been in years. No wonder they are closing. PLEASE, in all parts of the country in all walks of life, support your small local businesses SOMETIMES even if you make your major purchases at the giants. Otherwise, you’ll have no choice where to buy your goods and you’ll never find traditional treasures of home-made at Wal-Mart

fro

January 17th, 2010
11:27 am

Are you ready to be heart broken? Childhood memory gone and the best gingerbread man on the planet. I have been eating them for 40 years I may need to be commited without them. I still go about once every few months even though now live an hour away. Wish they would reconsider or give me the recipe for the GBM.

Tyler Pike

January 18th, 2010
9:03 am

Indeed this is sad news. However don’t dismay too much, here’s a bombshell: My dad is perfecting a German BBQ right now. He’s constructing a scintillating German flavor and is planning on serving his sandwiches on coffee cake. He’s really engrossing himself in all things Germany in order to make sure it will translate into authentic German Flavor on his BBQ. He’s got mom growing her arm pit hair out, he bought a Dirk Nowitzki jersey, etc. When all is said and done, I think my dad will have a new nickname, ‘The Fuehrer of BBQ’.

A

January 18th, 2010
9:17 am

The lesson here is please support your local “mom and pop” establishments. We try to eat at local restaurants or local chains and do business with as many local companies as possible. It’s not always easy with so many big box stores and chain restaurants, but if we all make a small effort, great places like this will have a fighting chance in this economy.

Lynn Sexton

January 18th, 2010
10:31 am

What a TERRIBLE way to start my day, learning that our beloved German Bakery has closed its door. My daughter, who has a job in the PR food industry, sent me the link to this blog first thing today. For years, I have stopped by the German Bakery to pick up Gingerbread Men for her brother and her, who are now 22 and 18. For the last few Christmases, I have purchased enough Gingerbread men so that every member of our extended family could have one tied to their Christmas gift…that’s TWENTY EIGHT Gingerbread men. And don’t get me started on the eclairs…they have their own place in the All-Time Chocolate Eclair Hall of Fame…not to mention the decades of coconut or carrot birthday cakes. WHERE will we go NOW for that authentic, better-than-you-can-bake-in-your-own kitchen taste? Say it ain’t so…

Jane G

January 18th, 2010
1:37 pm

I remember all 48 years of the german Bakery – Mama use to take us there for a treat since it was close to home. She taught us the value of a good eclair and the German Bakery had the very best! The Gingerbread Men can’t be beat, so I have made the trek to Decatur for the last 29 years from the Sandy Springs area to treat my boys to the gingerbread Men… and the apple fritters… and the wedding cookies… and the rugelah …. weell you get my point! I am so sorry the shop couldn’t be sustained. Thankyou for all of the wonderful years and memories! Thanks to Lynn S. for sharing the sad news… I did need to know.

Eddie

January 19th, 2010
10:08 am

My Mom and Dad owned the German Bakery for 40+ years. I’m fifty something years old now and my Dad, Richard Masemann started the bakery at Toco Hills. Later, Richard moved the bakery to Decatur (off Lawrenceville Highway). My Mom, Anne, and several loyal employees worked at the bakery countless hours, weekends and holidays so we could have a good home, food, clothes. A bakery is a hard way to make a living, however, that is all Richard knew and he did it well. As a kid in Germany, Richard would petal his bicycle of fresh baked bread to farm houses. Richard passed away a few years ago and Mom sold the bakery to Gary who was an employee at the bakery. I applaud Gary for trying to keep the bakery going. The “mom & pops” struggle with the big chains and we will see fewer of them in the future. I have many fond memories of the German Bakery…including the eclairs. The German Bakery was well known in Atlanta and I am proud to say my family was a part of that legacy. We miss Richard and we will miss the German Bakery.

Carol

January 19th, 2010
5:55 pm

The German Bakery has been a favorite of ours since we moved to Decatur in 1991. It is so sad to see a family run business that has provided such excellent baked goods over the years close its doors. We wish Gary and the staff of the German Bakery all the best and thank them for providing their customers with the finest of homemade baked goods. You will be missed.

alice

January 20th, 2010
8:19 pm

A wonderful place that I visited weekly when it was at Toco Hills, but have been a less frequent customer at the “new “location…if only they could get a cheap lease back at Toco, the place would be mobbed again! wonderful cookies and breads…and they made special dinner rolls for our office Thanksgiving party last year! The owner even met me early so I could get the rolls to work that morning! Those pecan rolls and cinnamon buns are worth every calorie! Come back!

Eden

January 20th, 2010
11:57 pm

I loved the carrot cake. When my twin children were born, I especially requested one for the shower. That cake was beautiful! It had baby booties made of icing all around the edge. Sad to see them go.

John Kessler

January 21st, 2010
8:17 am

Thanks for the memories, everyone. And nice to hear your recollections, Eddie!

A Tsivoglou

January 21st, 2010
10:41 am

Stopped at the bakery Tuesday (1/19), saw the sign saying “Due to a death the bakery closed this week.” Had no idea this thread was going until a few minutes ago. Hope it is untrue, though will admit I’ve been wondering how Gary could keep it going. The economic times are sour, Atlanta and Georgia residents have always seemed to have only a marginal understanding and appreciation for the finer points of an excellent bakery, and he’s had to struggle to keep labor costs under control as long-term staff have rightfully needed an occasional payraise to deal with inflation themselves.
Remember Richard and his wife, Tanya, Lisa, and others through the years, the eclairs, seven-layer cakes, and my father good-naturedly (and sometimes not) arguing with Richard and his wife over freshness of the bread. Mother still counts on the six-grain and rye breads.
Hope this is an untrue rumor.

joshp

February 2nd, 2010
1:27 pm

had the best mardi garas king cakes in town. It will be missed!

Susanne Hollister

February 23rd, 2010
11:05 am

Being German, Gary’s bakery was like a bakery “back home” for me – whenever I could not stand another piece of American supermarket “bread”, I could always go there for comfort. And the cakes and pastries… no need to say more. I feel like I have lost a good friend.
By the way, Tyler Pike’s comment of January 18 is the most tasteless, low-brow blog I have EVER seen – plus a shameless plug for his dad’s business – unless it’s all a joke, of course. It wins the “Trash Award”, hands down.
Susanne H.

Barbara

February 27th, 2010
2:43 pm

Richer used to make onion rolls with 3 thumbprints in it FILLED with onions, so you’d get more onions. The chocolate eclairs that he made…nobody could recreate and I LOVED the gingerbread men. My parents who were German first told me of this bakery in the 70’s and were loyal customers, too. I am heartsick to hear of its closing.

Nadine A. Chromiak

April 2nd, 2010
11:37 am

“Said it ain’t so!!” The only poppy seed roll in town that compared to my beloved grandmother’s! Another reflection of our sad economy…it will be missed.

debbie aronoff

April 2nd, 2010
12:25 pm

My mother was deeply saddened to hear of her beloved German Bakery’s closing. She had been a customer at the Toco Hills location for the years that it was there and I remember her bringing us up there as children to get a real treat. She absolutely LOVED the German Bakery’s eclairs and has not had one that even compares in all of her years. Yes she has tried many, but none come even close! When the bakery moved to White Way, I would buy her eclairs every now and then. I never thought that it would close. I was so sorry to hear of the owner’s hard times. This is just to let him know how many people will miss this special place that has no comparison when it came to baked goodies and breads. Debbie A.

Joan

April 3rd, 2010
12:31 pm

My heart is broken!!! There is not another Gingerbread Man, Apple Fritter, or Eclair anywhere in the world that would be called comparable.

b.a.a

April 3rd, 2010
3:58 pm

THIS WAS THE BEST! IT WILL BE MISSED!

Nikki Free

May 4th, 2010
12:58 pm

I just found out when I went to order one of my annual cakes. I’m so sorry to hear that. I loved that bakery and the people that worked there. They were so friendly and this is the only bakery that I would order from for the past 10+ years; since I found out about them. I’m so sorry to hear they’ve had to close. I will truly miss them!!!

Laura

June 15th, 2010
4:28 pm

My mom always bought my dad’s favorite German Chololate Cake for his birthday at the German Bakery when it was in Toco Hills. They have both since passed on, but I have gone to the new location every time I was in the neighborhood. I kind of wish they had been able to stay at Toco Hills because I would have been able to patronize them a lot more there. I would definitely say that my very favorite smell growing up was the fragrance that would hit you the second you walked through the door there. Fresh bread, chocolate, butter, sugar…yum! I will miss them.

Lisa

July 20th, 2010
8:38 pm

I used to work there and we miss everybody very much. Thanks for all the nice comments. They mean a lot.

BootinSnootin

July 26th, 2010
1:50 am

THE GERMAN BAKERY IS REOPENING!!!!!!!! It looks like Gary is getting it ready to open in less than 2 weeks!!!!!! I plan to be first in line……. I drove by yesterday and there are signs of life in there. I stopped and asked when they would reopen. Their was a health inspector who told me it had to be inspected because they had been closed for so long, but it should be open again ASAP!!!!!!!!!

Kellie

September 17th, 2010
12:59 pm

Did the bakery ever re-open? I tried to call the number but it has been disconnected. Does anyone know? Thank you!!! I have gone there my whole life…