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Seasoned patrons of Miller's Bakery in Millersburg, Ohio, know that it is probably a good idea to call ahead with your order to make sure they don't run out of your favorites. Their fry pies, apple fritters, tarts, donuts, cream sticks and rolls are some of the most popular items.
The smell of the ovens baking up these warm, golden, handmade treats draws locals and tourists into the small shop on the hill. Floating through the doors you experience a sensory cloud of powdered sugar and rising dough, blended with a strong history of honoring traditional Amish family recipes which started back in 1967.
Barbara Miller was making noodles for a local restaurant at the time and there were so many egg whites left over from the noodle making process that she and her husband Sam decided to start making and selling angel food cakes.
Barbara started the bakery from her home with the help of her daughter, Mary Miller, who worked with her and managed the business, and her son, Jonas Miller (who would become full owner of the business in 1990).
The Miller family was good friends with the owners of Guggisberg Cheese and their children would often play together, so it was a natural choice to sell their cakes there.
"I remember when we were young we used to haul that angel food cake down to Guggisberg," said owner Jonas Miller. "Eventually though, the cakes sold so well that they would run out before we could bring down a new batch." Guggisberg started sending customers up to the house directly to Barbara.
One of Barbara's friends told her if you can bake a cake you can bake bread. This started the creation of different breads, pastries, cookies, donuts and many other products that are still being sold in Miller's Bakery today, along with bulk food items and a craft/gift shop near the back of the store. Everything in the gift area is locally made.
"Mom is gone now," said Jonas, referring to his mother Barbara. "But she would be amazed."
Possibly one of the tastiest items Miller's Bakery has to offer are their various tarts. "We worked for months to get that recipe exactly right," Jonas remembered. "We would make up a batch, taste it, then wait a few days, make another batch and it kept getting better and better until we were happy with it."
This is still the usual method when they are looking to try something new. Lately, their nutella bars have gotten some buzz from customers and recently they have been making bagels as time allows. The bagels were a suggestion from Jonas' daughter.
The busiest time of year for the bakery is around October. Their record for the most product that was ever sold in one day was when they made 127 dozen tarts that went out the door for customers (this happened during the busy season). For anyone doing the math that is 1,524 tarts in a single day.
Visiting the bakery this spring, customers can expect special flower cookies and other favorites like their popular buttermilk cookies. French toast lovers can pick up a loaf of Cream Bread and for those who love a good piece of toast from the toaster, the Garden Bread (which is the Cream Bread with dried veggies added) is a perfect snack for any time of day. There are also Cabin Monster cookies, chocolate chip & peanut butter cookies, snickerdoodles, whoopie pies, raisin bars and nine different flavors of tarts including red raspberry, blueberry, cherry, cheese, plain and pecan.
Many of the local businesses stop out in the morning and pick up items for their employees. There is also a local high school student running a catering and delivery service called Hart's Catering. For several days during the week (for a $10 delivery charge) she will pick up food orders and deliver them in the morning, usually before school. The number for the delivery service is 330-749-4404.
Miller's Bakery has remained true to the methods and ideas that were put in place many years ago. The only time a beater is used is for the egg whites and possibly for frosting. The store is a great place to stop in and look around, but in the mornings the staff understands that many people are in a hurry and it is just as convenient to stop in and pick up items quickly.
Miller's Bakery will be celebrating 50 years this summer. The bakery is located at 4280 Township Road 356 in Millersburg. Regular store hours are Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. To call in an order or find out more information call 330-893-3002.