Home News Longtime owner of historic Iowa bakery to retire after 150 years

Longtime owner of historic Iowa bakery to retire after 150 years

by Celia

Middle Amana’s iconic Hahn Bakery, with a rich history spanning more than 150 years, will bid farewell on Sunday, marking the end of an era.

In the past few days, emotions of both sorrow and joy have permeated the walls of Hahn Bakery at 2510 J St., as Doris Hahn, a seasoned baker and the longstanding proprietor, has decided to step back after an impressive 55-year ownership.

Expressing disbelief at her retirement, Hahn shared her sentiments, stating, “It’s unbelievable that I’m retiring. The whole experience has been unbelievable.”

Hahn, along with her husband Jack, assumed control of the bakery from his parents in 1968, embarking on a journey to master the art of baking. After her husband’s passing in the late ’90s, Hahn continued to operate the bakery and serve the community.

The decision to retire started to take shape about six months ago, Hahn revealed. She recounted the reactions of those around her, saying, “When I said I was going to retire, people were in shock. I’ve had company every day. The people just don’t want me to quit, but I said I got to go and take some time for myself.”

Since her husband’s demise, Hahn dedicated herself to the bakery and its patrons for the past 27 years. Reflecting on this commitment, she shared, “I’ve dedicated myself to the customers for the last 27 years. It’s been hard to tell them goodbye when they’re coming through, but it’s time for me to move on.”

Saturday witnessed a poignant scene as customers, aware of the impending closure, entered the historic bakery, some shedding tears, according to Hahn. “Today was a rough day. People were crying, but understand they want me to enjoy my life,” she acknowledged.

Despite her plans to savor retirement, Hahn remains uncertain about her next steps. “I have no plans,” she admitted, revealing that she’s been offered three part-time jobs already. “I’m just going to take one day at a time.”

While Sunday marks the last operational day of the bakery, Hahn hinted at a potential reopening in the future, stating, “I won’t do the baking. I’ll probably reopen in a year or two. But first, I want to enjoy myself.” The legacy of Hahn Bakery, deeply woven into Middle Amana’s history, takes a momentous pause as it closes its doors, leaving an indelible mark on the community it served for over a century.

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