Sunday, March 15, 2015

Stangl's Bakery

Stangl's Bakery
1210 Merchant Streets
1950s-60s?
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

The photo above is how I remember Stangl's Bakery when I was growing up. And when I think of that Stangl's, which stood at the corner of Wagner and Merchant Streets for over 80 years, I immediately remember the donuts--plump, delicious, raised donuts covered with fine granulated sugar. I also remember huge flaky ladylocks and custard-filled cream puffs. And finally, the bulk candy--the nonpareils and Michigan Cherries were my favorites.

The original Stangl's Bakery, a business started by Paul Stangl, Sr. in 1920 at the corner of Wagner and Merchant Sts. (1210 Merchant St.) is gone, but a new Stangl's has been opened by his great-granddaughter, Lorianne Stangl Burgess, at the location of what was once a Stangl's outlet store, 572 Merchant St. in Ambridge.

[Update Aug. 8, 2018: you can see a photo of the exterior of the 1920 Stangl Baking Co. here.]

Lorianne shared some wonderful vintage photos with me and allowed me to post them here.

Stangl's Bakery
Wagner and Merchant Streets
1920
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

Stangl Baking Co. Nu-Bread ad
Ambridge News-Herald
June 24, 1927

Stangl's Bakery
1930s?
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

Stangl's Bakery
Wagner and Merchant Streets
late 1930s
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

Stangl's Bakery employees
Wagner and Merchant streets
late 1930s
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

In 1930, Paul Stangl, Sr.'s son, Paul Stangl, Jr., and his wife opened a Stangl's store at 528 Merchant Street. Although the store sold baked goods, it originally was intended to be more of a lunchroom than a bakery. Stangl's remained in that location until 1954 when Paul Stangl, Jr. moved his store to 572 Merchant Street.

Paul Jr. took over the Stangl's name in the late 30's when Paul Sr. died and merged the two companies into Stangl's Bakery. He moved his family from living above 528 merchant to living above the 1210 Merchant bakery in 1945.

Stangl's
528 Merchant Street
circa 1939
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

For many years, the clerks always dressed in white including white caps and shoes. In the photo below, three clerks stand in front of the 528 Merchant Street store. Behind them is Star Markets at 530 Merchant Street and Ambridge Hardware, 536 Merchant.

Stangl's clerks
528 Merchant Street
late 1930s - early 1940s?
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission.

By the mid-1930s, Stangl's had a third store, at 1813 Duss Avenue.

Stangl's Baked Products store
1813 Duss Avenue
late 1930s?
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

Stangl's owned a fleet of trucks that delivered baked goods to grocery stores and homes. The 1938 truck below reminds me a bit of Star Wars storm trooper helmets. I don't know if the more conventional looking trucks in the second photo came before or after 1938.

Stangl's delivery truck
1938
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

Stangl's delivery trucks
date unknown
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

Paula Stangl, Lorianne's mother, says that bread was a big seller for Stangl's. She remembers sales offering six or eight loaves for $1.00. Another promotion was "buy a pound of ham, get the bread free."


Stangl's Super Twist bread
1947
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

In 1949 the Wagner and Merchant Street building was enlarged.

Stangl's Bakery addition
Wagner and Merchant streets
September 3, 1949
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

Lorianne says that the Stangl's truck below, pulling out from Wagner Street onto Merchant, was driven by her Aunt Connie, one of Paul Stangl, Jr.'s daughters. Across the street are Slavik's Market, one of the many neighborhood mom-and-pop groceries once found throughout Ambridge, 1221 Merchant, and Robert S. Stewart Hardware, 1229 Merchant. I don't know what bar was on the corner in 1955, do you? If so, please leave a comment.

Stangl's Bakery truck
Wagner and Merchant Streets
1955
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

Stangl's Easter candy
date unknown
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

"All Butter Coffee Cake"
Stangl's store display
date unknown
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

Stangl's Bakery ad
The Daily Citizen Trade Area Directory
1956

In 1966 Stangl's had eight locations including three on Merchant Street. I don't know when most of the locations opened or closed. In the 1970s, Stangl's also had a store in Northern Lights.

Stangl's ad
Beaver County Times
February 28, 1966

According to a July 11, 1970 article in the Pittsburgh Press, Paul Stangl, Jr. began to talk in the early 1960s about redeveloping the business area near the Old Economy historic district. Stangl didn't live to see his idea come to fruition, but the early 1970s saw an effort to restore and revitalize the Merchant Street area near the bakery. Stangl's was given a new facade and became Stangl's Old Economy Village Bakery & Candy Kitchen. Lorianne says that store was closed in 2004.

Stangl's Old Economy Village Bakery & Candy Kitchen
mid-1970s
photo courtesy of Lorianne Stangl Burgess
used with permission

In 2009 Lorianne Stangl reopened the Stangl's at 572 Merchant Street which had closed in the late 1970s. She has attempted not to just renovate, but to restore the vintage look of the store by using many of the original counters, cash registers, and equipment. While Lorianne also uses original Stangl's recipes, some things have changed. While Paula Stangl says the bakery once offered only three kinds of donuts--sugar, glazed, and jelly-filled--the bakery now offers such a big variety, I had trouble trying to decide what to buy. No decision was needed when I bought some ladylocks. Still huge, still delicious.

Stangl's ladylocks
March 24, 2014
credit: Nancy Knisley

Lorianne says that one of her favorite memories growing up was watching her mother decorate cakes. Since Paula Stangl is no longer able to do the cake-decorating because of arthritis, Lorianne has taken over the job and is quite the cake artist.

The bakery also offers a variety of what used to be "penny candy." Alas, the candy is no longer a penny apiece, and Michigan Cherries are no longer made.

7 comments:

  1. Best blog you have written. Not just because it's about Lorianne and her family!

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  2. corner bar was a hangout for local people & store owners,name??? door on side led upstairs to home over tavern, slaviks the same thing, next door right, spent many hours there w/mom & mrs slavik talking, mom always would yoo hoo her entrance & mrs S would admit her & i in. next was roberts clothing store barkin owners of that jews i think went to school w/girl, son was there too? stewarts hardware next then kardas best food in town greek restaurant, dad & son were chiroprators on church st, saw son in 60s for bad back, (next door were the Bender family), next was a novelty store w/pinballs on corner was dambrosio shoe shop,(mad anthonys) our family lived upstairs 1930s late, towards corner & the mc carthies lived next to us, 5 people in a 2 room flat. 2 girls & a boy Brian footballer for AHS 1950, across st was the old moose hall & they say ambridge hotel?? walk down to river, stopped at at large embankment, PRR tracks & another embankment to swimming & diving board area. sunbathe & nude swimming were the thing no girls unless very brave. toward baden was the big raw sewer pipe, spewing everything to condoms included, many. up on 13th & 14 th & 15th was old economy, that was a kid hangout & look at for fun, inside was old stuff. on corner of 14th & church was lawlors store, candy sodas & more, cranky old guy, but heart of gold, up towards merchant was the store or shop w/a 207 address?? karras family upstairs, up more were the janickis, both sides of 14 & 13th the farrahs lived on cornew of 14th & merchant, owned tavern & whole corner. somewhere is my high school 1950 ring from BT under the paving, when demo 293 & bar area for parking. jd john domansky jr

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    Replies
    1. jd aka john domansky
      barkin was the family that owned the clothing store next to hardware store, stewards i think, they lived near 16th or 17th & church st. one main thing i recall is ambridge had a store window washer, washed most store windows in ambridge on merchant st a very nice black man that lived , i think on 17th & church , where merchant st ended, next to the palmer family.name escapes me now , will look in yearbook, went to school w/kids. another black family was dr harris, worked on my mom & gave her a nice smile, son was athlete, BB & FB caught 1 homer he hit over left field. more to come

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  3. out of the blue just looking at the tavern on corner of 12th, long block, there was short block just left of that tavern. the owners of the tavern on the corner was the hornaks or horynaks, they lived on 14th & duss 1st house next to gas atation across from national elec. they had one girl named alice, & were friends, they went to holy or divine redeemer also i think. up the corner 13th & 14th was a drug store, that spot was the end of the sledding hill from beaver rd down to duss, blocked side streets for safety, what a ride. john domansky

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    Replies
    1. jd aka john domansky

      in the 1055 stangls photo on the long block of 12th st west side, from the south was, tavern, slaviks grocery, barkens clothing store, ( bought a lot of nice clothes there) next was stewarts hardware & then next was the grand restaurant, upstairs shows 4 windows in building, next was a variety store wirh pinballs etc then on corner was d'ambrosios shoe repair shop, on north side is shown john domansky & cousin dorothy standing on car running board about 1937, her dads car. he worked for libby owens glass in toledo.

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    2. 1955 sorry!!!

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  4. jd aka john domansky

    the stangl's 1813 address on duss ave, just does not jive with my memory, mom & i lived at 1925 duss for a couple of yrs. i knew that 1900 corner very well, never saw a stangl bakery, the 1813 ending should be higher, the tavern on end of block was 1899 or so,just 4 or 5 doors down, bro in laws dad spent a lot of time there, sis bro in law & his dad all were there at 1925 w/us for a yr maybe.
    back to 1800 block, there was a pool hall right in that area, & a vandebord bakery soda shop in the early 1950s & was there when i stopped at ambridge to visit up to late 50s 60s & so. (vandenbords had 3 kids girl boy girl . the 16 , 17 18 & 1900 blocks were a solid block, no break for streets,(west side) just a change in address numbers. the alley behind that block ran all the way to 14th st & stopped at national electric. where HH robertsons offices where at too. i walked from 1900 duss to HH for a few yrs, but never used that alley, why not??? one morning on the walk to work, after a bad weekend, i looked down & saw a brown shoe & black shoe, kept under bed & oh oh. few guys saw that & ribbed me.

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