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Becker’s Bakery

27 Apr
Becker's Bakery

Donelson Location

Becker’s Bakery

2543 Lebanon Pike
Nashville, TN 37214

by Josh Rowe

Founded in 1925, Becker’s Bakery has been a part of the Nashville landscape since before the second world war. Initially opened in one location by Frank Anderson Becker at 12 Avenue South in Nashville and the second was opened in Old Hickory by Ed Becker (later moved to Donelson), the story of this bakery has been one of both change and continuity, stories of overwhelming success and heart-breaking failure and a story that is above all about a family and their commitment to quality made goods. They are committed to tradition in not only their goods, but also their aesthetic. Given that their clientele stretches back 81 years in my family alone, the reliability that tradition breeds seems to be a key to staying open for 87 years in a business that sees over half close in the first year.

Donelson

The consistency isn’t just in the rolls however. When the walls were painted yellow instead of blue some of their veteran customers were sure to let them know how the change made them feel. Even something as progressive as them allowing payment by check in 1996 was met with some resistance. Obviously they weren’t opposed to more diverse payment option, but the customers have literally grown up with this business and that is bond formed over decades. Though some change has occurred over time of course, the name for instance was originally Standard Baking Company for the Nashville location and Modern Baking Company at the Old Hickory/Donelson location. The bakeries have also been passed through the generations at least three times at each location. Sadly the advent of the package goods style of bakery found within your local mega-mart lead to the closing of the Nashville location on January 6th, 2004.

We can’t compete against a $3 pie… people aren’t willing to drive an extra 15 minutes to get a better product

Becker’s of Denelson has managed to adapt to the ever changing market better though. Raymond Becker and his wife Carolyn have managed to run a successful business in spite of the growth of multiple shopping centers around them. Both stores began from the same recipe book as well, so even though the one location is no longer around their legacy carries on. When the Nashville location closed Donelson received and influx of customers as well. People weren’t willing to stop having their Birthday cakes made by Becker’s just as they had for fifty years in the case of one customer. Kathrine Fletcher has been a customer for over 60 years and she has “got her my girls a cake for their birthday every year from here and my youngest just had her 52nd birthday” and if you ask Carolyn Becker then you’ll quickly find out that there is no reason that should change anytime soon.

Where the Magic Happens

Sources:
http://beckersbakery.com
Nashville Scene
Tennessean
Interview with Kathrine Fletcher

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