Pity the poor child who has no concept of what a real bakery is beyond the refrigerator case at his local Publix supermarket.
Outside of major urban centers like New York, the classic old-school bakery–those corner-store emporiums of sweetness where recipes are treasured family secrets and the air is redolent of cinnamon and butter–are almost extinct. Here in Jacksonville, most of the city has to content itself with grocery chain bakeries that only pretend to prepare sweets on-site. (We’re not naming names, but most stores just ship in frozen sheet cake by the ton from central distribution centers and then decorate on-site to give the illusion of homemade.) That’s why Murray Hill’s iconic Edgewood Bakery is such a local treasure.
Established in 1947, Edgewood Bakery has been satisfying sweet tooths for more than sixty years. This mom-and-pop establishment at 1012 Edgewood Avenue South still makes everything from scratch using only the finest ingredients. The selection is downright dizzying, from bachelor buttons to Pfefferneuse, delicate tea cookies to raisen-studded cinnamon rolls, classic doughnuts to towering wedding cakes. Assorted breads are available, too, including honey wheat, sourdough and pumpernickel, along with a few sweet breads such as apple cinnamon and the popular seasonal pumpkin bread and gingerbread.
Edgewood Bakery’s atmosphere is low-key and local. Friends gather for coffee and danishes and moms bring their children by after school for a quick treat. The bakery has expanded in recent years to offer a modest breakfast menu along with lunch offerings such as house-made soups, sandwiches and individual quiches. There’s also a small banquet hall out back for receptions and meetings.
But don’t assume that such a classic bakery has to be constrained to the common-place. Edgewood Bakery is justifiably famous for their fantastical cakes, which have won numerous awards (seriously, these folks could give the Cake Boss a run for his money). Just like any any good cookie, this bakery is full of surprises and sweet to the core.