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Bakery celebrates 30 sweet years

By Staff | Oct 19, 2012

As the Shepherdstown Sweet Shop bakery celebrated its 30th anniversary, Rusty Berry, who owns the mainstay with his wife Pam, reflected on its unique history and evolution.

Now seated in the center of town at the corner of German and King streets, the bakery has transformed since its founding in 1982, from a small mom-and-pop shop that he described as a “tiny little place.”

Founded by Howard Butcher, a baker trained in Germany after WWII, the ‘Sweet Shoppe’ as it was known, has grown to employee over 20 staff members and thrives as a staple of the town.

“We’ve greatly expanded the range of what we do,” Berry said.

Berry explained that in the late 80s Butcher retired and sold the business to one of his bakers, who moved it to its current location in 1990.

The Berrys, who had just six years earlier relocated to Shepherdstown on a whim, after “dropping out,” of the corporate world, decided to buy the bakery and keep its tradition in the community alive.

“We still use many of Mr. Butcher’s original recipes,” Berry said.

Berry, who owns both the business and the historic corner building it inhabits, discussed how the space has evolved over time.

According to Berry, the building was once used as the town’s local market and coincidentally, has long been known colloquially as “the Baker building,” after one of its original owners.

Though Berry said he doesn’t know the building’s original purpose, as it was built sometime between 1790 and 1810, he said it was also used to train the Moulder Hall Civil War military regiment, and like most historic buildings in town, was once used as a makeshift hospital to nurse Civil War solders wounded in local battles.

Rich with history in the community, Berry described Saturday’s birthday celebration as a way to thank the local people who’ve kept the small town bakery relevant.

“We tried to take some time to make our customers feel appreciated,” he said.

The bakery staff served almost 50 cakes to patrons Saturday, as well as free ice cream and coffee.

“We were slicing cakes about as fast as you can slice cakes,” he said.

Along with honoring the past Berry, discussed how he sees the bakery growing in the future.

“We’re cautiously optimistic that the economy is now picking up again,” he said.

“We’ve got some plans for new products,” he went on to say.

Those interested in more about the bakery’s services and history can like the Shepherdstown Sweet Shop bakery page on Facebook.