Jenny Lee bread back on shelves

Loaves of Jenny Lee cinnamon swirl bread hit the shelves of local grocery stores this week for the first time in 19 months -- and there's more dough in the ovens on Island Avenue in McKees Rocks.

About 3,600 loaves had been baked, loaded on trucks and delivered to stores as of Tuesday, said Scott Baker, who resumed baking operations with his father, Bernie Baker, and one employee on Feb. 10.

They haven't exactly reopened Jenny Lee. They've started a new business called 5 Generation Bakers.

The loaves were trucked to several Kuhn's Markets, Shop 'n Save, Foodland and independently owned Giant Eagle stores, Mr. Baker said. By the end of next week, the bread will be in the North Versailles location of Kings Family Restaurant.

Jenny Lee bakery closed in August 2008 after 70 years of operation by the Baker family.

At the beginning of the new baking venture, 5 Generation Bakers will be making only two products -- cinnamon swirl bread and cinnamon raisin swirl bread, marketed under the Jenny Lee brand name. The Bakers hope to add more products, more employees and more sales outlets later.

Customers should be able to order cinnamon bread online in the next week to 10 days, Mr. Baker said, because the company is setting up an eBay store on the Internet. Mr. Baker also is working with an agency to get a website up and running.

"Things are going a littler slower right now because we only have one commercial oven running," Mr. Baker said. A second oven will begin operating this week.

Severe cold and heavy snow slowed the loading of the first delivery trucks because the Bakers weren't able to get the forklift through the snow.

And the 30 friends and relatives who planned to help clean up the bakery and equipment on Feb. 6 -- the day after the big snowfall -- were not able to. But they went the following day.

Jenny Lee was founded in 1938 by Scott Baker's grandfather, Paul Baker, and his brothers, who were Scott's uncles.

Linda Wilson Fuoco: or 412-722-0087. First Published February 18, 2010 11:00 AM


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