- Associated Press - Sunday, February 19, 2017

HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) - After 34 years, the Korner Bakery in Hampton will close its doors if the business isn’t purchased soon.

Owners Clifford and Jane Huff are looking to retire and would like to sell.

“I hope someone turns it into a bakery,” Jane said. “I don’t know how they’ll get that mixer out!”

The couple have been in the baking business for more than 50 years and just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. The decision to close is bittersweet, Jane said.

“People don’t shop at bakeries like they used to,” Jane said. “It’s time for us.”

The building holds many memories.

“I think I’ve broken the oven three or four times since we came here,” Jane said, laughing.

Local visitors to the shop have brought in many trinkets over the years that Jane puts on a display shelf, including an antique butter slicer and a hand saw with a covered bridge landscape painted on it, the Globe Gazette (https://bit.ly/2lnaQmq) reported.

“You accumulate a lot of stuff over the years,” Jane said.

Most of the baking and kitchen equipment came with the building when they purchased it. Several can be considered antique including one that dates back to 1925.

“Back then, they made things to last,” Jane said.

They’re still in use each night into the early morning hours when Clifford, Jane and other workers bake for the next day.

“I come in at 9 p.m.,” Clifford, 81, said. “I run the oven.”

Jane goes to work at 3:30 a.m. to ice the orders and more. The routine is getting to be a bit much for the couple.

“We do almost everything by hand, we don’t have a lot of automatic machines to do it,” Jane said.

The bakery will remain open through the end of the month at least, Jane said, unsure of when they will officially close their doors.

Clifford, a Mason City native, found himself in the baking business along with several of his seven brothers when he returned from military service in Korea and Japan in 1958.

“He likes it all,” Jane said. “We’ll definitely miss the people.”

The couple moved several times - Iowa Falls, Ames and elsewhere where Clifford baked - before settling in Hampton.

“I’m still hoping someone will come in and want to buy it so it doesn’t have to close,” Jane said.

Once the bakery closes, Clifford and Jane look forward to spending more time together.

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com


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