‘We could not make enough of them’
RIVERSIDE—Jonathon and Karen Hoard began their business, Hoard’s Bakery, in the kitchen at their home.
“We were doing it just out of our house,” said Jonathon. “We had a certified kitchen and basically our living room got turned into a cooling area.”
The first product they offered were pies.
“The first two years we did the pies, we could not make enough of them,” Karen said. “Every single weekend we would make as much as we possibly could—the two of us and our one oven in our house.”
When their pies began selling out, Jonathon and Karen decided it was time to look for a bigger space. In 2010, Hoard’s Bakery moved to First Street in Riverside.
“We wanted somewhere close and we’ve always had ties to Riverside, so we said, ‘Let’s do it,’ ” Jonathon said.
By moving to a bigger space, this allowed them to expand the products the bakery could offer, including pies and pie shells, which the casino orders from them, dinner rolls, hamburgers, hot dog and brat buns, pita bread and baby pita bread, and other loaves of bread in wheat or white, Jonathon said. Everything is hand-rolled and made from scratch at the bakery with all natural products.
Several items they have are used at local restaurants and school districts. The Highland Community School District buys the pita bread for their menus, Jonathon said. The casino buys their pies and pie shells, Murphy’s buys all of their hamburger buns and John’s Shamrock BBQ in Ainsworth buys their dinner rolls.
“We have graduation coming up and have a lot of orders for graduation,” Jonathon said. “We sell them bulk style [the dinner rolls]. We’re open to the public, so you can place an order whenever you want to. We have a lot of people calling for graduation already and we’re selling buns like crazy.”
Baking for Karen and Jonathon was passed down to them from their family members. Karen learned how to make her exploding apple pies from her great-grandmother, she said.
The pie explodes because of the ingredients the Hoards use.
“We use real fruit and with the real fruit we’re able to stack it up as high as we want to go,” Jonathon said. “When my wife was taught how to make pies by her grandmother, she said, ‘Just stack it up with fruit’ and that’s all we do. We don’t use any fillings. We make everything from scratch. Everything.”
Jonathon also learned from his grandmother and grandfather how to bake on their family farm just west of Hills.
“That’s what I saw my whole life,” he said. “Them baking their own stuff and growing their own food, so that was all normal to me. I wasn’t a designated baker. It was just a part of life.”
Last year, Jonathon and Karen bought a building just a block east from where they are located now. Jonathon has a déjà vu feeling when it comes to his new building.
“Once again, we are desperate to get over there,” Jonathon said. “We need more space.”
They’re in the process of renovating that building as their permanent home for their bakery.
“We had to gut out the whole bottom floor inside,” Jonathon said.
“And the top floor, too,” Karen said.
The harsh winter has delayed the construction projects they have left to do, Jonathon said. There are some cosmetic items inside the building that still need to be done. Then the gas and electrical lines have to be run to the building and the drainage for the back alley needs to be fixed.
Jonathon has been working with the city throughout the purchase of his building and renovation process.
“They’ve been great,” he said.
Both Jonathon and Karen have a goal in mind for their bakery business once the renovation and move is complete.
“We’re hoping that once we get into that space we can open up a retail space,” Jonathon said