January 15, 2018
One of Cleveland’s most iconic local brands was founded in 1903 when Lionel Archibald Pile, better known to family and friends as Archie, opened his first Hough Bakery shop at 8708 Hough Avenue. Pile had immigrated from Barbados a year earlier. His first year in Cleveland, he worked at a small grocery store and saved up enough money to put a down payment on that first shop.
A Hough Bakeries Shop in the mid-50s
Four of his six children Arthur, Kenneth, Lawrence, and Robert joined the family business. Stores were eventually added in East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights. A catering business was launched in 1930, and in 1941, the company bought the old Star Bakery plant on Lakeview Road and moved its headquarters there, changing its name to Hough Bakeries in 1952. The company continued to grow, adding additional stores in Cleveland and the surrounding suburbs. A newly founded division, called Hough Foods, even dabbled in prepared and frozen foods.
Hough Bakeries shop in Puritas Plaza, W. 150th & Puritas Ave.
At its height, Hough Bakeries boasted over 30 stores, 14 units inside area supermarkets, and 6 units inside local May Company department stores. Though still widely popular in the Cleveland area throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, Hough Bakeries was losing money and eventually was sold by the Pile family to Amerifoods in 1990. Unable to keep up with the modernization and price cutting of several national competitors, the beloved Cleveland institution gradually began closing stores.
The Lakeview Road facility would remain the company’s home until it abruptly ceased operations in August of 1992 stunning customers and employees alike. Kraft Foods (now Kraft Heinz) acquired the recipes, really the company’s most valuable asset, in bankruptcy court.
In 1994, a former baker for Hough, coincidentally named Archie, opened his own shop on Lake Shore Boulevard in the Collinwood neighborhood, not far from the site of another lost Cleveland favorite, Euclid Beach Park.
Archie’s Lake Shore Bakery, owned by Archie Garner, continues to this day as Archie’s Hough Bakery. It offers baked goods derived from recipes inspired by the original Hough creations that are just different enough as to not draw the ire of the folks at Kraft Heinz.
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