Do any of the major Grocery Stores still bake their own Cakes/Cookies?

I was somewhat shocked to learn the Kroger bakeries no longer cook their cookies, cakes, pies etc. in-house anymore. I found out by asking a manager about getting a custom cake baked. He said all that stuff is cooked in a big bakery in Florida and shipped to the Kroger stores.

Back in the 80’s & 90’s I know the Kroger bakery did cook their own stuff. Sometimes you’d find different pies at different stores. They used the eggs, milk etc. from the store that was getting close to the expiration date. I found one Kroger that made a fantastic chocolate chess pie. There were a bunch of older ladies working in that bakery.

Have all the major grocery chains stopped baking in their “bakery”? When did this change happen?

Safeway still does. The ones I’ve been to, at least.

I know Albertson’s bakes their own cookies, although the dough is made in Idaho and shipped to the stores.

I’d be surprised if Publix (in the southeast US) didn’t still bake their own goods. I know when I lived in Florida their bakeries were a huge part of their business. Their White Mountain bread was frikkin’ awesome; I bought a loaf every Sunday.

The local Vons and Stater Brothers both do.

IN the New England area, the larger Shaw’s stores have in-store bakeries.

Publix still bakes their own stuff! Huzzah! For example, the Irish Soda bread bought at a Publix near her house was slightly different from the Publix Irish Soda bread my friend bought near her workplace.

Not all Kroger’s do that - I know of two here in Lexington, and two by my parents’ in Dayton that do custom bakery stuff.

Both of the ones I’ve shopped at regularly in Lexington frequently have fun bakery stuff - cupcakes that say “Down with Louisville!” on game days or piles and piles of Derby Pies for Derby. They also both have big signs at the bakery counter advertising their services for birthdays or other events.

The breads and “regular” pies (the apple, cherry, etc.) look like they’re mass-produced, but they definatally have a bakery that does custom stuff.

Meijer does.

In Canada both Metro and the Loblaw/Superstore chains do. My son has worked in the bakery of both chains. They mostly just pull out premade items and bake them however there is not much assembling from scratch.

Here in SoCal we have Ralphs, which is really Kroger. I don’t know if they actually do their baking on-site, but I’m pretty sure it must be coming from somewhere a lot nearer than Florida.

I can see the advantage to using a mix or pre-made dough. That gives consistency from one store to another.

It’s cheaper to make it from scratch (using items from the store that are near expiration dates). But, one store might have a talented baker and another not so much… :wink:

I think the Kroger by me still does some bakery stuff. I’ve seen two different pies or cakes (of the same variety) on the same table that appear to come from two different locations, one I suspect baked on site with a simple printed label and the other more securely packaged and sporting a fancier label with the Kroger store brand. Premium Select or whatever they call it.

Supermarket baker/cake decorator here :raises hand:

Most larger supermarkets do have an in-store bakery. However, those who still bake from scratch are far and few between.

Somebody upthread got it right – most of what is brought in is frozen. Cookies are a good example. I set them up and bake them, but I don’t make them.

Our bread dough comes in frozen and is set up frozen to thaw overnight. I’m the one who shapes it, proofs it, and bakes it.

Crusty breads are always brought in par-baked. I just pop them in the oven.

Back when I started about 20-some odd years ago, some chains were still baking from scratch. The chain I first worked for was just transitioning from that to frozen. It saddened my then-boss, very much the old-school-bake-from-scratch baker. It’s a simple matter of economy in terms of not only less labor-intensive, but also of the fact that most in-store bakeries make very little money for the store itself. The aromas and smell are what bring people into the store, which is why most bakeries are situated somewhere near the doors. Cakes are the moneymaker, but, as a former boss once told me, “You gotta make a lot of bread/cakes/whatever to even make a little bit of money.”

Cakes? I know of no supermarket bakery who bakes their own. They come in frozen. The decorators put them together, ice, and decorate them. Some chains actually bring them in already decorated, which eliminates the need for a decorator altogether.

Please tell me the powdered jelly doughnuts aren’t frozen. :frowning:

:nodding on both counts:

'Fraid so. The shells come in frozen. I thaw them, bake them, powder them, then fill 'em.

I can confirm that this is how it works at Ralphs (part of Kroger). Nothing is mae from scratch. Some cookies, some breads, turnovers & some muffins come in as frozen dough and are baked on the premises. I’d be surprised if any major chain does it much differently. No way are they paying for the labor to bake from scratch.

Exactly. The more a task can be “dumbed down” (for lack of a better term), the less labor. In other words, you don’t have to be trained like I was.

At some chains – not mine – they have ovens which automatically do everything for you. All you have to do is punch in what it is you’re baking and the oven takes care of it, even down to the timing. That way, anyone can do it.

No wonder why I feel like a dinosaur much of the time :frowning:

Our local chain, Giant Eagle, seems to do it like kiz describes.

They have some pretty super-decorated cookies and cupcakes. I think it’s because the bakery workers are all sort of bored since they can’t bake from scratch.

We’ve got a couple of very talented decorators. They don’t go overboard, though, with their stuff – as one of TPTB told us, “Don’t ever put out anything that will get us on the Cake Wrecks website.” And so far they haven’t, at least nothing from what I’ve noticed over there.