A staple in Emmaus closed its doors July 1 to the shock of many residents and visitors to the community.
Emmaus Bakery, 415 Chestnut St., has been a part of the Emmaus community for 84 years.
A history found on the Internet shows Emmaus Bakery was conceived in 1934 by John Shadler and was originally called Shadler’s Bakery. Some time after opening, Shadler changed the name of the bakery to Emmaus Bakery and continued to operate the bakery for 19 years.
The bakery was then owned and operated by the Zayaitz family for over 43 years.
In March 2010, Rick Zayaitz sold the bakery to Rob Erdossy, someone with extensive bakery experience. His family has worked at Egypt Star Bakery since 1974 where Rob started working on the cleanup crew at the bakery at age 13 and progressed up to a baker’s helper, then head bread mixer. Erdossy left the family business for three years and went to work in a supermarket as a bakery manager.
Erdossy then purchased the Emmaus Bakery and Zayaitz stayed with the bakery for a short time to teach Erdossy “the Emmaus Bakery way” to do things. Erdossy also kept the staff.
Emmaus Bakery specialized in baked goods such as bear claws, doughnuts, crullers, cinnamon rolls, fritters, Long Johns and fastnachts and had supported the Emmaus Lioness Club’s Apple Dumpling sale where 3,000 apple dumplings were made annually since 1998.
Following a routine inspection at the end of May by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services, the bakery was shut down for serious violations, but opened a few days later after the violations were rectified.
Among the violations listed on the report are a clogged hand wash station preventing employees from washing hands in the bakery processing area, doughnut filling machine nozzles left open and exposed, bags of flour and sugar left open, dough tables with deep cracks with buildup of old flour and residue, shelf with mixing bowls dusty and dirty, mixers with old dough, dust residue on shields and top of mixing blade area, baking trays left stored in racks with product residue on them, a can of Raid bug spray on counter next to the bread slicer, active ant activity on walls of doughnut fryer and work table area, evidence of rodent feces around floors of entire bakery area and mixing bowl area, all racks, tables, table legs, mixers, etc. having an accumulation of old product residue, crumbs, splash debris, topping and coatings, open, uncovered, overflowing trash cans left in bakery near the doughnut fryer area, walls behind work tables crumbling and flaking, ceiling vents in front bread slicer area and middle room are dusty, dirty and need to be cleaned.
The report, dated May 23, stated, “This facility has been closed by order due to active insect infestation and gross, unsanitary conditions.”
The owner did not return calls to The Press for comment for this article.