While we usually use the #RespectYourElders feature to profile a notable individual, this week we wanted to tell the story of longtime Andersonville and Chicago Methodist Senior Services favorite, Swedish Bakery.
The bakery will shut its doors for good on Feb. 28 after 88 years in business. It first opened in 1929 as Ernst Carlson’s Bakery and has been run by the Stanton family since they purchased it in 1979. One of the Stantons, Kathy Stanton-Cromwell, is a Life Trustee of CMSS.
The shop has long been a favorite in the community both for its delicious baked goods and as a symbol of Andersonville’s Swedish history. But the Stantons say the store has been losing its customer base and is closing for economic reasons.
In the mid-twentieth century, it was one of five or six Swedish bakeries in the community, but in more recent times the bakery has been known as the last authentically Swedish bakery in Chicago. During its early days, most of the shop’s sales came from bread and sweet rolls. In contrast, some of the most popular items sold during its final weeks include the princess cake topped with marzipan, chocolate ganache cake and whipped cream cake with fruit, according to the Chicago Tribune.
You have a few more days to visit Swedish Bakery before it closes at the end of the month, but be prepared for long lines. DNAinfo reports that the store has been averaging 500 customers a day since it announced its plans to shut down.
We will miss you, Swedish Bakery! Thank you for a wonderful 88 years in Andersonville!