New bakery to open in former space of Evans Bakery in Dayton

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

A new bakery is opening in the former space of Evans Bakery, a longtime neighborhood institution, according to a Monday post on Evans Bakery’s Facebook page.

“Same Evans original recipes with a new expanded menu! The 700 Troy Street legacy continues with Baker Benji’s,” the post said.

In a live video on Baker Benji’s Facebook page on Sunday, owner Benjamin “Benji” Stuckey announced he will no longer be located in Fairborn because he is opening an Old North Dayton storefront. He insured customers he will offer Evans Bakery’s traditional menu with favorites like doughnuts, cream horns and cannoli with a little bit of Baker Benji’s influence, including the baker’s brownies, cakes and cupcakes.

“First and foremost, we want to thank the Evans Family for this great opportunity and cannot wait to meet all of you,” the post said. “We know the bakery has been a fixture in the community for generations. We are excited to continue this legacy, and will announce our grand opening date soon!”

Baker Benji’s is currently a cottage food business where its baked goods are made in a home kitchen. Stuckey, originally from Leesburg, told he started his business in 2011 in Springfield. After he graduated high school, his family moved to Springfield. When he would return home on college breaks, he enjoyed baking items for friends and family.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

“The last five years I’ve had such tremendous growth thanks to the Ohio Renaissance Festival,” Stuckey said. “I’m actually an official baker for the Ohio Renaissance Festival.”

He said this year will be his sixth year with the festival.

Stuckey is a graduate of Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky where he received his associate’s degree in baking and pastry arts. He said he furthered his pastry education by working at The Cakery in Dayton for four years.

“Evans has a great menu and great following,” Stuckey said. “I just want to continue what they’re doing with all of their recipes.”

Evans Bakery closed its doors on Saturday, Dec. 17 just as the former owners, Jennifer Evans and Matt Tepper, celebrated their 10-year anniversary of resurrecting the bakery.

The couple moved from Michigan to Dayton to restore the bakery Evans watched her parents operate for 35 years.

Evans previously said there was no one single reason why she and Tepper decided to close the bakery. They both said they were tired and ready to focus on other endeavors, including spending more time with their family.

Stuckey said the storefront will allow him to expand his business in addition to continuing the legacy of having a bakery on the corner of Troy Street and Warner Avenue for nearly 100 years. He said Evans will train him prior to opening as he works to keep the bakery’s original recipes.

“I’ve always had a passion for food and art,” Stuckey said.

He recalled watching Food Network as a kid and seeing Duff Goldman on “Ace of Cakes.” Stuckey said that’s when he realized he could combine his two passions.

Stuckey said he hopes to open the bakery in mid-April depending on how long it takes to get permits and add to his team.

He said he is especially excited to make Evans Bakery’s doughnut staples while adding new flavor profiles.

“I’m most excited about expanding the classics,” Stuckey said. “You will get the best of both worlds of that classic mom and pop charm, but also a little bit of customization.”

Stuckey was able to open the storefront with the help of CityWide Development’s First Floor Fund. The goal of the fund is to “activate storefronts in vacant or underutilized spaces along neighborhood commercial corridors and the Greater Downtown area,” according to CityWide’s website.

For more information or updates, visit Baker Benji’s Facebook page.

About the Author