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Kretchmar's Bakery - Hinton WV 1925

Kretchmar’s Bakery – Hinton WV 1925

After having worked in the baking business for over 40 years Henry Kretchmar Sr. purchased the bakery in 1960. Previously he had his own shop in Hinton WV, which was a coal mining company town and was shuttered when the company pulled out. He later found work at Keystone Bakery in Bridgewater, PA as head of their pastry and cakes department starting in 1940. Henry Sr. worked for the Keystone owners, the Braun brothers, until at the age of 55, he took out a second mortgage on his home and bet it all on his ability to run an independent retail bakery in Beaver.

Later he added a second location in Rochester, PA, first on Brighton Ave. Then a year later, he moved it to Adams St. on top of the hill. The additional location was shuttered in 1978 after Henry Jr had returned.

In 1975, Henry Kretchmar Jr. came back to Beaver to take over the bakery, which his father had run successfully for 15 years. Hank made improving the business his life’s work. With trips to Europe and around the country, he gathered the best ideas the baking industry had to offer and brought them back and put them to work. He also became a Certified Master Baker through the Retail Bakers of America. By doing this, he was able to steward the small retail shop through one of the worst economic down turns in Western PA’s history. Through his experiences he decided to focus the business on decorated cakes and specialty tortes like Beaver County’s favorite, Toasted Almond Torte.

Kretchmar’s Bakery celebrated it’s 50th anniversary in 2010 and passed to the third generation. It is currently managed by Lincoln Kretchmar, third generation baker and Hank’s son. Lincoln attained his certification in Retail Baking from the American Institute of Baking in 2005. He came back to the business in 2003 at the urging of his father. Having worked in the tech industry for a number of years, he brought with him a special skill set that allowed him to modernize the way the bakery does business.

Lincoln Kretchmar’s influence on the business can be seen in updated marketing practices along with an expanded menu. Hank’s Hankering and Kretchmar’s Torte of the Month are just a few of the promotional ideas the younger Kretchmar added.

President Obama leaving Kretchmar's Bakery

44th President, Barack Obama, leaving the bakery after purchasing apple pie and chocolate chip cookies.

In 2012, Kretchmar’s received a very special customer. Then President of the United States, Barack Obama, stopped in for a quick treat on his way to speak at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. He purchased a dozen chocolate chip cookies and an apple pie. And took time to take pictures with Kretchmar’s employees.

Kretchmar’s  Bakery carries a full line of products – everything from cookies to wedding cakes. Specialty tortes are available every day. Special occasion decorated cakes, i.e. birthday, holiday, etc. are baked fresh and hand decorated by experts. Kretchmar’s baked goods are prepared from scratch, just like the way your grandmother used to make. Doughs are still formed into products by hand. Only the finest and richest ingredients are used in Kretchmar’s products. This ensures a quality product at a fair price.

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