About Us

helen bernhard bakeryHelen Bernhard Bakery was established in 1924, beginning, as many bakeries did in those early days, by baking cakes for neighbors and friends. At the time, the Bernhard family lived in the house next to the present shop. Ben Bernhard’s father was a minister at Grace Lutheran Church and his mother, Helen, created the cake business as a hobby and an addition to the family’s income.

Her earliest recipe book, dated September 1923, was written in heavy pencil, its smudges and rewrites showing much trial and error. As business grew, additions were made to the back and side of the old house to accommodate baking and sales demands. Eventually, the family moved one street away and their former home became devoted to the bakery.

In 1939, the present bakery building was erected under the supervision and planning of Ben and his mother. Mrs. Bernhard died in 1968, at 86 years old, but had long since sold her business to Ben. Many years later, David, a third generation Bernhard, purchased the bakery and succeeded in keeping the home bakery aspect alive in a busy retail bakery

In 1988, David Bernhard sold the bakery to Richard and Mary Laufer, local bakery owners, who have devoted their lives to family and baking.

Most recently, the bakery was purchased by their son-in- law and daughter, Mike and Kellie Snaadt.  They are inspired by the rich history and loving memories the bakery provides the community.  The bakery has seen many changes in it’s 90 years of existence, but amid all those changes, the home bakery feeling still remains.

14 thoughts on “About Us”

  1. My grandmother and her family have purchased their birthday cakes from Helen Bernhard’s since it first opened. She was a teenager in 1923 at that time. She also bought her son’s birthday cakes (my father), and my cakes (granddaughter) from you. It is a family tradition and you truly make the best cakes that I have we have ever tasted!

  2. i need to know ball park for a pink champagne smaller cake atop with cup cakes below for a girl baby shower October 29th; i have her crib bedding kind of pink with lime green ish and some animals on it; i have a photo;

  3. my family lore says my uncle carl schink had the first all electric bakery in portland and it was located near the portland colosseum on broaday.

    would you be able to help me with this?

  4. I was looking for a old fashioned traditional bakery, not the sad grocery store bakeries that have substandard cakes and buttercream icing that taste like perfume or according to my husband bug spray. I reached out to Farina bakery and they informed me they only do cake slices and are not even doing them at the moment. They recommend Helen Bernhard and so I read the reviews and decided to try them. From the reviews I read I ordered extra custard filling as some have commented they do not put enough filling and I’m glad I OREDER XTRA FILLING. The cake was FANTASTIC! I will order future cakes from here. I can’t wait to try their other baked goods.

  5. This Bakery is solid gold. I have been a customer since 1971. Of course the cakes are exquisite, all other baked goods superb, and the bread…over the top! A huge favorite ❤ the hot cross buns.

  6. I have been a customer since the 1950s. Every time we visited my grandmother who lived in Irvington we came by for a treat and to pick out our Sunday morning pastries.

    On Easter we would order a streusel topped, custard filled coffee cake. It was round. It was hands-down the best coffee cake I have ever eaten. You have not had it in your shop for probably 30 years, and I still miss it. If you have the recipe, please try it again. I bet it will be a hit!

    Thank you for being a top-notch bakery with delicious pastries.

  7. Your soft pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips are the best. I look forward to this time of year with those cookies in mind. The eclairs are fabulous too!

  8. A happy customer since the mid 70’s, most recent visit was today when I stopped to let the grandkids pick out special treats to celebrate getting their first COVID vaccinations. Best bakery in town!!

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