Business

Entrepreneurs open My Mom's Bakery' with kolaches, pies

'It was always going to be My Mom's Bakery'

Kevin Bahr, Sherri Gillick and Pat Bahr, their mother, all of Swisher, work in the kitchen as the bakery opens for the morning at My Mom’s Bakery in Ely on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Kevin Bahr, Sherri Gillick and Pat Bahr, their mother, all of Swisher, work in the kitchen as the bakery opens for the morning at My Mom’s Bakery in Ely on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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Everybody loves Mom’s baking.

While that sentiment may be true in a lot of families, Kevin Bahr is trying out his family’s love for his mother’s baking in the marketplace.

He and his domestic partner, Sherri Gillick, built a new business around his mother’s time-tested baked goods recipes.

Bahr and Gillick opened their bakery and coffee shop in Ely on June 11.

“It was always going to be My Mom’s Bakery,” Kevin said of the name they chose for their new business. “It’s all her recipes.”

One of those recipes, for kolaches, originated in Ely years ago. Kevin’s mother, Pat, had volunteered to help out with a Boy Scout supper there in 1972, where an elderly woman gave her a recipe to make kolaches.

Pat never did get the woman’s name.

“Mom’s been making those kolaches for over 40 years now,” Kevin said. “You wouldn’t believe how many people come to her for them.”

About two years ago, Pat asked Kevin for help making the kolaches. Nearing 80, she no longer could mix up the dough herself.

“She taught me how to do it, how the dough falls off the spoon when it’s just right,” Kevin said.

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Pat also taught Kevin how to make her other recipes, including those for cinnamon rolls, pecan rolls and pie dough. The idea for a bakery came about a year ago as Kevin continued to learn his mother’s baking secrets.

“She told me that if she was 20 years younger, she’d open her own business,” Kevin said. “We thought, why not do it ourselves?”

At the time, Kevin and Sherri were longtime employees of Whirlpool in Amana, where they met 20 years ago. Ready for a change, Sherri retired and Kevin resigned, and they used their savings to open the business.

They bought a building in downtown Ely, which they remodeled themselves, and bought all new equipment to have it under warranty.

While they originally intended the business to be a bakery only, they added an espresso machine, coffee grinder and water filter based on input from the community.

“People love their coffee,” Sherri said. “They missed having a coffee shop here in town.”

Kevin and Sherri arrive by 1 a.m. each day to start baking, making 200 to 400 kolaches and 14- to 20-dozen cinnamon rolls every day. They often sell out by the time the bakery closes at 11 a.m.

Their biggest challenge so far, Sherri said, is “we don’t know when to sleep.”

As the pair adjust to their new work schedules, they have a couple people from Ely who come in to help them out with the coffee.

And, Kevin said, “Mom is here every day.”

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l Know a business in operation for less than a year that would make an interesting “Ground Floor”? Contact michaelchevy.castranova@thegazette.com.

At a Glance

l Owners: Kevin Bahr and Sherri Gillick

l Business: My Mom’s Bakery

l Address: 1665 Dows St., Ely

l Phone: (319) 841-9636

l Email: mymomsbakery@outlook.com

l Facebook: www.facebook.com/mymomsbakeryllc

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