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Baking it the Ole Fashioned Way: K.C. Bakeries Established Before 1950

drawing of the new wolferman's scheduled to open in january 1950 This drawing advertised the Wolferman's Corner Store that was scheduled to open on Jan. 25, 1950 in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. (Kansas City Public Library | Missouri Valley Special Collections)
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Flatland loves a good fluff piece. Two years ago we chronicled the history of Kansas City’s legendary Cake Box.

A little while later, curiousKC fielded this question: “What were the other bakeries in Kansas City established before 1950?”

We used the Cake Box story as a hopping off point to continue to “roll out” more historic bakery content.

We picked three of the most well-known businesses in Kansas City, Missouri, realizing that there are likely others around the region that we could have missed.

Wolferman’s

Louis Wolferman opened his first store in 1888. The Kansas City bakery coined the slogan, “Good Things to Eat.”

In 1910, Louis’ son, Fred, created a new way to shape the stores famous English muffins. He stuffed the dough into a tuna can, which was then placed on a griddle, making the final product smaller and flatter than their competitors.

Another Wolferman’s hallmark was its home-delivery routes.

Fred (who took over from his father) died in 1955 at the age of 85, right around the most profitable time in Wolferman’s history. After a difficult two decades in the 60s and 70s, the last Wolferman’s store closed in 1984.

Williams Food Inc. bought the company in 1999. Williams Food sold the company in 2008 to Harry and David Holdings Inc.

M&M Bakery and Deli

Now known for their Hook’m Up sandwich, M&M Bakery and Deli traces its roots to Bronia Roslawowski and her husband, Mendel, who founded the bakery after moving to Kansas City following World War II. 

Roslawowski met her husband after U.S. soldiers liberated the Auschwitz concetration camp. Roslawowski chose Missouri because it was the home state of President Harry S. Truman. She also wanted to be in the heart of America.

Roslawowski passed away in 2010. The bakery is now owned by Dorothy and Pat Williams.

McLain’s Bakery

The McLain family founded its business in 1945. After changing hands twice, it now belongs to Hirleman family.

Since buying the bakery, the Hirlemans have expanded the McLain’s brand, adding two new stores to the original Waldo location. The new stores are in Overland Park and Lawrence, Kansas.

Jacob Douglas is a summer intern for Kansas City PBS


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