Bredenbeck’s owner reflects on 30 years in Chestnut Hill, offers up 1983 prices to celebrate

Karen Boyd Rohde, owner of Bredenbeck’s Bakery and Ice Cream Parlor, vividly remembers the days leading up to opening up the Chestnut Hill staple 30 years ago. They were filled with do-it-yourself projects, a bout of unemployment and so much excitement that she didn’t even sleep the night before opening.

On March 14, 1983 her dream of owning her own business came true when her first customer opened the front door, a moment she still cherishes.

“I wish I could bottle the smell because if you just watch the expressions of people opening the door and getting a whiff of baked goods maybe chocolate chip cookies coming out of the oven, people just associate happy times with baked goods,” said Boyd Rohde.

In celebration of the store’s anniversary, Boyd Rohd is rolling back prices on danishes, butter cookies and the famous rum ring on Monday to reflect 1983’s prices. That means butter cookies will be $7.95/lb. compared to today’s price of $13.50/lb. Danishes will be 85 cents versus $1.65 today. And a rum ring will cost customers $8.95, instead of 2013’s $12.95.

Free slices of birthday cake will also be given all weekend long to customers.

“It took a lot of people that have helped me grow in this path in all different ways and it’s been a great journey and I am very lucky that I have a business in America,” said Boyd Rohde. “I get on my bandwagon about the fact that this is a great country and I can have a business, be female and employ 40 people giving them a great, clean and safe place to work and make people happy.”

For her, this accomplishment is about the people that have crossed paths with her over the years. According to Boyd Rohde, that includes the teenagers who used to work for her and now are allowing her to meet their kids and make their birthday cakes and the generations of women that have allowed her to be a part of their wedding days by choosing Bredenbeck’s to bake their wedding cakes.

But most importantly, she finds it is about keeping the family tradition of baking alive that her grandparents and parents passed down to her.

“I think that fact that my father taught me how to be a business person in order to steer the ship in a positive direction…when I look back, It was more than how to make a cinnamon bun, it was figuring out how to sell it and market that and the whole picture,”said Boyd Rohde.

She said her dad also taught her how to treat people and to be fair good, something she is passing on to her kids who are currently working in the store.

“It’s a sign of appreciation for supporting us,” said Boyd Rohde about her decision to roll back prices for a day. “It takes a lot of people to support a single-owned retail bakery.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.