Downtown business has been baking sweet memories for 36 years

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff
PUBLICATION DATE: April 02, 2019

Bonnie, Don and Kyle Brieschke work together on a daily basis.

For the past 36 years, a steady stream of people can be seen walking into Brieschke’s Bakery every Tuesday through Saturday with grins of anticipation and leaving with smiles of satisfaction.
“Customers are here to pick up something they want and are always happy about that,” noted Don Brieschke. He stays busy in the kitchen mixing dough or popping trays of cookies, pecan rolls, Danishes or another delights into the ovens to bake. He also is the chief doughnut cake maker, another of the family-owned Sylvania bakery’s signature and most popular offerings.
“In fact, on a regular week, we do about 25 to 30 doughnut cakes per week,” he reported. “And around holidays, it gets really crazy,” Mrs. Brieschke added.
Those cakes get “dressed” by Mrs. Brieschke who spends most of her days adding the decorative frosting topping to those items. She also adds her artistic touches on the any number of traditional cakes cupcakes and cookies for all those special occasions or orders including weddings. Mrs. Brieschke uses photographs, drawings or whatever as the basis for her designs, which she replicates freehand with appropriately colored icing.
Recently, the Brieschke’s son, Kyle, has joined the team adding his touches to the family business. A graphic design major from Bowling Green State University, the younger Brieschke noted that although he grew up working in the bakery, he really had not planned on joining his mother and dad in the business. However, he is finding he is enjoying what he is doing. “On the worst day, we are surrounded by cookies and doughnuts. How bad could it be?” he pointed out. “It was delicious growing up here. And, when kids in school learned about the bakery, I made a lot of friends,” he chuckled.
“I also like working with my mom and dad,” he offered. He helps his dad with the mixing and baking of all of the showcase items and special orders. He also helps his mother decorating cakes and cookies. “I find decorating fun and challenging,” he reported.
Each of the Brieschkes find themselves waiting on customers as they come in to pick out a sweet roll, a cookie, a box of baked goods or to pick up an order. The younger Brieschke can be seen from time to time, carrying large orders helping a customer to his or her vehicle. Depending on who is closest to the phone, each of the Brieschkes also all answer the calls and take orders. “I really like getting to know all of the customers and our community,” Kyle Brieschke added. “That is another fun part of the job!”
The Brieschkes attribute the success and longevity of their bakery business to hard work and dedication. “When your name is on the building, you do everything you can to make the business a success,” she reflected.
In the beginning, though, neither Don or Bonnie Brieschke ever thought their lives would be in a bakery filled with all sweet things. He took a job in the bakery at Churchills, then in Starlite Plaza, where he learned his baking skills. “This was just a job for me. I never thought it would be a career,” he said. An avid hunter and trap shooter, he was looking to be on a career path in some sort of an outdoor occupation.
Mrs. Brieschke also took a job at Churchills while attending The University of Toledo. She happened to end up in the bakery where she not only learned to decorate cakes but also to meet her future husband. “I hated art in school,” she laughed. She was a psychology major and never considered the bakery business for her.
However, the two met, dated, were married and had their first son during the nine years they spent at Churchills. “Somehow, we just kept doing what we had been doing,” she offered.
“We both worked very hard,” Mrs Brieschke remembered. “And, we thought that if we were going to work this hard, we should be doing it for our own business. I had my eye on this bakery and asked our sales rep to let us know if the Seitz family bakery in Sylvania would ever be for sale. He called to tell me that it was available just as I started on a maternity leave for our first son. We bought the business and the rest is history. Each of our three boys came to work with us and were part of what we did. Working together as a family is wonderful,” she emphasized.

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