Emily's Bakery and Deli

Emily's Bakery and Deli has been in owners' Norine Bishop and Steve Fox's family for over 73 years. The business announced its last day will be Nov. 27.

With an over 100 year history in Hastings, Emily’s Bakery and Deli decided to close its doors following a worker shortage.

The bakery officially closed on Nov. 27 after an inability to find qualified bakers left workers doing double the workload and staying long nights to prepare all the food for the next day.

"We are so, so thankful and blessed to have been a part of this community," a Facebook post announcing Emily’s closure said. "We know that many of you will be sad or upset or even mad about this. Please know that we are very sad also. There are many factors involved with this decision and we did not make it lightly."

As soon as Emily’s announced its closure on Facebook, customers flooded the business to say their goodbyes and purchase their favorite goods before it closes its doors at the end of November.

Locals and out-of-towners lined up behind the counter as breads, donuts and cookies flew off the shelves of the bakery and deli during its last days open.

According to the bakery’s website, Emily's Bakery and Deli first began in Hastings in 1906, when Joseph and Anton Pitz bought a bakery from J. A. Amberg. 

Originally called the Pitz Bakery, it was first located at 218 E. 2nd St. in downtown Hastings. 

In 1946, Peter Dielentheis, a master baker trained in Germany, bought the bakery from the Pitzes. 

Dielentheis, was a brother-in-law to Elmer and Emily Walker, grandparents of the current owners, Norine Bishop and Steve Fox. 

Two years after he bought the business, Dielentheis sold it to the Walkers, who renamed it Hastings Home Bakery.

The Walker's six children were all part of the bakery scene as they grew up in Hastings. William “Buzz” Walker worked with his parents in the business throughout the 1950s and 1960s. 

In 1965, Buzz became the owner of the newly built and renamed Midtown Bakery, which was located in the Midtown Shopping Center.

In 1980, Buzz's sister and brother-in-law, Peggy and Gene Fuchs, purchased the bakery and Gene's son, Steve Fox, started working for Buzz in January 1980. 

In 1985, the Fuchs extended their business and opened a deli in downtown Hastings and asked their daughter Norine to join them. 

She worked at the deli location until 1987 when an old bar and restaurant was torn out of the Midtown Bakery and the deli was moved there from its downtown location.

In 1988, the Fuchs turned the bakery over to their children and current owners, Fox and Bishop, who changed the name of the bakery and deli to Emily's Bakery and Deli, in honor of their grandmother.

“Our family has been a part of the Hastings business community for over 73 years,” the post said. “We are so, so thankful and blessed to have been a part of this community.”

 

Written By

Reporter

Sophia Voight is a reporter for the Hastings Star Gazette. She is from Oshkosh, WI and graduated from the UW Oshkosh with a bachelor's degree in Multimedia Journalism in 2021. She can be reached with any news tips at svoight@orourkemediagroup.com

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