OSSIAN, Ind. — A popular bakery in northeast Indiana has a new owner.
Gary Short and his family have taken over Heyerly’s Bakery in Ossian, which has been around since 1931.
Short, who is an engineer during the day, has always had a love for baking.
“One time, I just baked a cake and took it to a family outing, and everybody just loved it,” he said. “So I started baking more and more, and it became a passion.”
So when the well-known bakery in his town went up for sale this year, Short knew he had to take the opportunity.
Starting in March, he trained with the Heyerly brothers, to learn the famous recipes.
“Between the four of them, they have 220 years of experience,” Short said.
Short said it was important to learn from the original owners, so the customers would not notice a difference in their beloved donuts, cookies, rolls and pies.
“Why would I change something that has been around that long? Those are iconic items,” he said.
“They are the best in the area, and they’re going to stay the best in the area.”
After training for months, Short and his family officially took over the bakery on Wednesday night. He says he’s trying to still get used to the new lifestyle, working his normal day job, then coming in at night and baking for the next day. But he says, it’s absolutely worth it.
“We’re going to learn this, and we’re going to make sure Heyerly’s taste stays Heyerly’s taste,” he said. He added that everything is made fresh, by hand.
Short, like everyone else in Wells County and the surrounding area, knows how popular Heyerly’s items have been over the years. He’s heard of customers coming from all over Indiana, and other states, just to see — and taste — what makes Heyerly’s so special.
“I heard about one customer, who lives in Seattle, Washington, but her family lives in the area. When she comes in, the first place she has to stop is Heyerly’s,” Short said.
Even under new ownership, Heyerly’s remains popular in the little town south of Fort Wayne.
“We usually close at 9’o’clock, but we’ve been having to shut the lights off at 6:30 or 7’o’clock, because we’ve been selling out,” Short said.
Short says his favorite thing about being the new owner is serving the community, and encourages customers to call him if they ever need something specific for an event.
(PHOTO: Heyerly’s Bakery Facebook Page)