SLATON- A ton has modified at the Slaton Bakery given that the Wilson family took demand of the procedure approximately 80 decades ago.
It began as a tiny bakery serving the railroad town of Slaton, struggling through a revolving door of possession in its first two many years of operation and the rationing of World War II.
But the bakery commenced to set and take shape when Barney and Ollie Mae Wilson took it around in 1943.
These days, a single of the oldest bakeries on the South Plains – and maybe the state – has expanded from its storefront on Slaton’s town square to incorporate a nearby church and a fanbase that’s developed beyond the state lines.
Now, the bakery that touts alone as “The Greatest Stored Magic formula” in West Texas is not truly a magic formula.
In fact, they are tricky to miss out on.
Their footprint has grown significantly in latest a long time, many thanks in part to their thumbprint cookies, delectable treats and the newest generation’s vision for bigger things.
These kinds of products as their vanilla wafers and ginger snap cookies are getting offered on the internet and on shelves in a growing number of shops – including United Supermarkets, H-E-B, Foods King and others across Texas and into New Mexico.
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Slaton Bakery experienced a vision for enlargement
Considerably of Slaton Bakery’s growth has occur thanks in aspect to Chad Wilson, son of proprietors Sherrell and Robin Wilson.
Sherrell and Robin stated they always wanted their son to try something else so he didn’t feel like his potential wasn’t limited to operating in the family business enterprise.
Nonetheless, Chad mentioned, he’d constantly felt a contacting to perform in the bakery.
“Whenever I was a child in school, all people realized me as like the bakery child or, you know, the kid that would provide doughnuts to school or cookies to the party and stuff,” he said. “People normally kind of connected me with that, and I form of often appreciated that – bringing persons joy.”
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Right after receiving his finance diploma at Texas Tech, just one of the items he preferred to do at the bakery was get their vanilla wafers on grocery retailer shelves.
Chad reported they had customers driving for miles and from different instructions to come get their vanilla wafers and other items. They thought it was unusual since there are many box makes at the keep.
“Like, why would they go so considerably out of their way to arrive get our vanilla wafers?” he explained.
They started asking customers what designed their wafers stand out.
Consumers, Chad said, informed them they appreciated their strong vanilla flavor, how properly they held up in banana pudding recipes and their deficiency of preservatives.
“And so, we considered, ‘Man, if you’re having to push two or 3 several hours just to get these cookies, then surely there is individuals presently at the grocery retail store that would like to get them’,” Chad said.
The bakery’s inspiration to increase also arrived, in aspect, from salsa.
Chad Wilson claimed Slaton-based Kylito’s Salsa is owned by close friends of the Wilson loved ones, and they were being viewing achievements distributing their goods to United Supermarkets and other grocery stores. After he visited with them about his idea of having vanilla wafers to grocery stores, they mentored him as a result of the procedure.
Spreading the term throughout Texas
They started off with just the shops in Lubbock and the South Plains, and then they expanded to stores in Abilene, Amarillo the Metroplex and over and above.
“We just kind of picked up a tiny location at a time,” Chad said, adding they’ve due to the fact become just one of the top providing cookies for United.
Slaton Bakery’s vanilla wafers and ginger snaps are now obtainable in 64 United Loved ones stores, and are frequently highlighted in additional than 180 H-E-B supermarkets and a selection of other little chains and retailers.
Mike Osornio, United’s business director of normal products, said the enterprise has had a powerful partnership with the Slaton Bakery for just about a 10 years.
Osornio claimed that, back again in 2013, when he was a classification managers and experienced just taken over the cookie cracker category, they scheduled a assembly with Chad to talk about their solutions.
Chad brought in samples of his vanilla wafers – the taste did considerably of the speaking and they soon arrived to phrases and figured out a promoting approach.
Osornio said he thinks much of the products’ achievement is easy.
“No. 1, it’s neighborhood. No. 2, it truly is special. No. 3, it’s a great product,” he stated.
Slaton Bakery now baking in volume
Chad said they begun cooking the wafers at the bakery, on the other hand when the desire enhanced, they ran out of place to produce efficiently.
Maybe, the resolution came by way of divine intervention.
A Church of Christ creating was staying sold in city and the layout and services worked incredibly well for a cookie manufacturing facility, so they acquired it and renovated it, he said.
The cookies are designed the place the pulpit was, and the ovens are where by the baptistry was, he said.
“Kind of neat – we say our cookies are heavenly,” he said.
The cookie plant produces about 1,500 luggage of cookies for every working day. Every bag of cookies has a shelf existence of 6 months.
The bakery also uses locally sourced components as substantially as they can. The flour and eggs used are all designed in Texas.
A West Texas family members business enterprise
Including the primary shop and the cookie factory, the bakery provides a residing for 41 personnel.
Emma Morales has been working at the Slaton Bakery for 27 decades. She commenced as a cake decorator, and now she is the retail store manager at the principal shop at 109 South 9th St. on the town square.
Morales said she has savored performing with the folks and her bosses, incorporating that Sherrell and Robin always addressed her like relatives, which made her remain there for this extensive.
“When I started off below, I was not married. I bought married later on and then now I have two young children, and they’ve always worked perfectly with me, like, when I want to go do items with my young ones at school. They’re really very good with that.” Morales reported. “I assume that is a further motive why I have stayed, simply because they handle my kids like their personal.”
Chad Wilson can take pleasure in recalling how his grandparents, Barney and Ollie Mae Wilson, met and fell in like at the bakery.
“My grandma would occur to the bakery to acquire bread, and then my granddad would see her, and he would constantly give her a minor additional provider,” he explained.
Later, they have been both of those workers at the bakery when they purchased it in 1943. The bakery was originally founded in 1923 – forming from two other nearby bakeries – but had modified ownership more than 10 moments all through these two a long time.
“I really feel like which is fairly ridiculous time to buy a small business, you know 1943 was like in the center of Planet War II and there was a ton of struggles with rationing of sugar, flour, fruits,” Chad stated. “It is all the issues that it can take to run a business, but he even now acquired it and he and my grandma ran the organization until finally 1973, when my mom and dad purchased it from them.”
At that time, Robin Wilson claimed, it was nonetheless a “minimal bitty” bakery, and she and her partner would participate in playing cards in involving waiting on shoppers on Sundays.
Robin said being a loved ones-owned business has produced them care about the excellent of their products for the reason that their name is on the line.
Persistence, attempting new thoughts and investing money back in the small business has assisted them keep the bakery for this long, Robin explained.
Which is also aspect of the appeal buyers explained they see in the bakery.
Tanner Keith, a common at the bakery, said he’s stopped by about after every single two months for the final 20 decades.
“It’s a compact town, it is neighborhood and it’s good” Keith said. “Can’t beat it.”
Adriana Quilimaco, who functions in Slaton, mentioned she’s been a common customer for about 10 yrs simply because it truly is hassle-free and pleasant.
That and because they have her favorite product cheese croissants.
“As quickly as you walk in, they greet you,” she reported. “It’s really welcoming, they make you truly feel fantastic and they’re just definitely attentive. They’re welcoming and, of system, it is fantastic.”