Bacon up something good
Aaron, Mathew, Ernie and Nikki Hacker literally make up the staff of the Amen Affordable Bakery that will open this weekend in Bainbridge.
("Amen" being the sum of the first initial of the family's first names.)
Owned by Nikki and Ernie Hacker, the made-from-scratch bakery Amen Affordable Bakery in Danville has been a success and now they will be celbrating the grand opening of their second storefront at 9 a.m. Saturday morning at 110 E. Pat Rady Way, next to the Dariette, and will include a smattering of baked goods, soft-serve ice cream and live bluegrass music in the afternoon.
"We have never had a warmer reception from townspeople," Ernie said happily.
Reading the label on a small, freshly baked loaf of bacon bread, customers will find an eight item long list of ingredients, all of which are familiar, pronounceable and without preservatives; this is something the Hackers are proud of.
"I can guarantee you can pronounce everything," Nikki said.
Affordability is something the Hackers strive for as well, putting the word directly into the title of their business.
"We want poorer people or people with beaucoup bucks to enjoy our bakery," Ernie explained while discussing 13-inch deep-dish pies that will be served by the slice daily or that may be custom ordered several days in advance.
Just how their second storefront came to Bainbridge is, "a long story" Ernie said before delivering the short version.
Ernie, an electrician in Danville, took the opportunity to purchase a large amount of wedding rental supplies from Nikki's family in an attempt to provide Nikki with some sort of business "in case something were to ever happen to me," he said.
It didn't take long before the Hackers decided they didn't want the wedding rental portion but decided to keep baking, using the more than 50 years of baking experience from Nikki's mother to get things started.
After several years, Nikki left her position at the Department of Surgery at Indiana University Health to take up her new role as head baker.
Creating cakes that involve cupcake high-heels; three dimensional, edible combines; camouflage inside and out cakes for military baby showers; and construction site recreations using cookie-crumbles as dirt are just some of the creative cake designs Nikki has done in the past.
Nikki also manages all the social media, designs cakes and works to develop new recipes so that the bakery can offer up something different, including cakes for individuals with special dietary needs such as gluten or egg-free cakes.
Bainbridge Town Board Member Chuck McElwee was a catalyst, telling the Hackers that Bainbridge could really use something like the bakery that they had in Danville, that was the start of it.
With a booth at the Putnam County Fair to help raise awareness of their products, and with community members stopping by the bakery during its renovation and construction over the past months, the Hackers are excited to see the reception of their new endeavor.
The business also takes efforts to include itself in a community, providing a meet Santa event with free candy canes in the winter, a costume contest at Halloween and coloring competitions for kids.
Amen Affordable Bakery also provides police, military and fire fighter discounts every day of the week; as well as a senior citizen discount every Tuesday.
Hours of operation for the bakery have been tentatively set for 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, but will adjust to open earlier in the mornings as the bakery moves beyond its opening weeks.
Amen Affordable Bakery is set to provide ice cream, coffees, custom made cakes, pie by-the-slice daily, whole pies, original recipe baked goods, party supplies, gift baskets, live music twice per month and plans to address providing soups and other foods if possible in the future.
Persons interested in seeing photos of the custom cakes created by Nikki, learning more about the business or the grand opening on Saturday can visit www.facebook.com/AmenAffordableBakery, may call 317-745-0026, or find their booth at the Putnam County Fair until Friday evening.