National Bakery Day promotes local bakeries

A tray of giant 1-lb. eclairs being prepared for Cannon’s Bakery’s eclair eating contest to celebrate National Bakery Day.

The first National Bakery Day went “amazingly well,” said Bernadette Shanahan-Haas, Director of Operations, Retail Bakers of America, the trade association that organized the promotion. National Bakery Day, September 28, was developed to promote local bakeries and encourage customers to “Keep Your Dough Local” as the day’s official slogan put it.

“What we really wanted to do was make this day a celebration for retail bakeries all across the country,” said Bernadette Shanahan-Haas, Director of Operations, Retail Bakers of America. “We wanted to truly give them a ‘sweet’ holiday where they could do fun things in their bakeries to help promote their retail bakery.”

The Retail Bakers of America (RBA) distributed more than 1,000 National Bakery Day kits to bakeries across the country. The kits included a box label, window decals, posters, table tents, and counter stands. The professionally designed artwork featured slogans, such as “Keep Your Dough Local.”

Many bakeries joined in the celebration with discounts, special treats, contests, giveaways, and demonstrations. These are just a few of the highlights.

  • Cannon’s Bakery, Newark, DE, hosted an éclair eating competition. The winner, Monty “Moe Train” Wiradilaga, ate 3.5, 1-lb. eclairs in 6 minutes. The competition drew crowds of onlookers, coverage from local press and put a spotlight on one of the bakery’s signature products–big eclairs.
  • 2016 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Baker Joanne Chang and her Flour Bakery + Café locations throughout Massachusetts celebrated the event with demonstrations showing guests how to make some of the bakery’s famous menu items.
  • In Chicago, Roeser’s Bakery gave away a free funfetti donut with every purchase. It also held special raffles for items, such as coffee cake and cookies, and sold a custom cookie with 100% of the proceeds going to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico and Mexico.
  • Creative Cakes in Tinley Park, Ill. played off a Willy Wonka theme. The bakery gave away five golden tickets in separate dessert boxes. Each recipient of those golden tickets won a $100 Creative Cakes gift card to be used within 28 days of the event.

Several local and state governments also officially recognized National Bakery Day. Governor Bruce Rauner of Illinois, Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota, and other government officials signed proclamations recognizing Thursday, September 28, 2017 as National Bakery Day.

Will there be a National Bakery Day next year? “YES!!!!!” Shanahan-Haas responded. “September 14th, 2018. Save the date!”

(Photo: Delaware Online The News Journal / Saquan Stimpson)