ST. LOUIS – The oldest bakery in St. Louis is for sale, along with many original items including recipes.
For over 140 years, 7726 Virginia Avenue has been a bakery. Kelly Steward went into Carondelet Bakery a few times and fell in love with it. She started talking with the owner Linda Smith.
“Bob was her husband and Bob started working here when he was 12 years old. I think he said he was making $1.15 when he first started, and when he was 20 he bought this place,” said Kelly.
Bob and Linda owned the bakery for 39 years before Bob retired and passed away. Linda wanted to sell it to someone who would also love it and in walked Kelly. She bought the bakery in 2019 and started rehabbing it, restoring previously covered stained glass, and freshening up original items.
Kelly also learned that in its earliest days the bakery was only male bakers. During World War II, they only baked bread 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and delivered it to Jefferson Barracks. Kelly said after the war they hired women to run the retail side.
“There is a little bell that runs all the way to the back and they would pull it when the stuff was done and then the woman would go back grab the carts and bring them to the front,” she said.
Above the bakery is a two-story living space with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Beyond the front walls of the bakery are multiple kitchens and appliances. The building is being sold with all its original items, including recipes.
Kelly says it’s bittersweet that she wasn’t able to do all she wanted with the building because of COVID but she’s ok letting someone else cook up something great.
“I would like someone who likes the history in this but really it’s whatever your dream is,” she said.