Tuesday, September 17, 2013

More on Spang Bakery in Lorain

As I mentioned yesterday, here is the first page of the special section of The Lorain Journal announcing the opening of the new J. Spang Home Bake Bakeries Plant. (Give it a click for a larger, readable version.)

As you can see by the special newspaper section, the new bakery plant was quite a big deal. The public was invited to tour the new facility, which featured modern automatic machinery in the bread and roll departments.

The new plant was certainly good for the local economy. Together, the Lorain plant and Elyria distribution facility employed about 100 people.

The lead article on the left hand side of the page noted that the J. Spang Home Bake Bakeries had already expanded into Lorain in 1922, and was sponsoring two athletic teams – a bowling team and a girl's basketball team.

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How long was the J. Spang Home Bake Bakeries in business in Lorain?

Well, the business appeared in the city directory at the same 522 W. 22nd Street address well into the late 1950s. In the 1957 City Directory, however, the firm shared its street listing with Great Lakes Donut Corp., a wholesaler. Then, in the 1958 edition, the J. Spang Home Bake Bakeries name disappeared and the Great Lakes Donut Corp. remained.

Finally, the 1959 book listed the 522 W. 22nd Street as 'vacant.'

What happened?

According to the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, the J. Spang Baking Co. was sold to the Laub Baking Company in 1958. My guess is that the Lorain plant closing about that time had something to do with the sale.

In the 1961 City Directory, Cotton Club took the 520 W. 22nd Street address listing, so it may have used part of the building. It remained there (also listed as Cotton Club Hires Distributing) until the 1964 edition, when that address was listed as vacant again.

1 comment:

John said...

The J. Spang Baking Company was started by my Great Grandfather, Julius Spang. I have many fond memories of him and his second wife who was known as "Aunt Lou". My father, Harvey Spang, was manager of the Lorain plant until his untimely death on April 18, 1956. You could look this up in the Journal archives. The plant closed in 1959 when the company went bankrupt. Great Lakes Donut Corp. was a subsidiary that sold donuts wholesale. I remember riding in a semi once for an overnight delivery of donuts to bakeries in Sandusky, Toledo, Detroit and Fremont. That one trip cured me of ever wanting to be a truck driver... They also sold donuts at various times in several other states. I can still taste the wonderful glazed donuts. I even still have a stock certificate for some Great Lakes stock that I inherited. Thanks for the memories, John Spang