Made In Chicago: Herb's Bakery

Julie Mann
October 15, 2018 - 7:32 am

WBBM Newsradio/Julie Mann


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) --  A family owned and operated bakery in the northwest suburbs, in business for 64 years, has outlasted more than a dozen of its original competitors.           

Herb's Bakery has been serving up sweet treats, breads, cakes and the like since 1954 when Herb Schwartz, one in a long line of family bakers from Germany, worked to build his own business, eventually locating on Larkin Ave in Elgin, where the retail bakery has been for the past 44 years under the supervision of Schwartz children, Erich Schwartz and Wendy Wessel.   

Erich Schwartz arrives at work each day in the pre-dawn hours and starts to bake in the full size kitchen in the back of the bakery. Everything they sell is made from scratch.  That includes their German pretzels.

Wendy Wessel spends her day decorating Herb's baked goods.    

WBBM Newsradio/Julie Mann

The busiest time of the year for the business, is between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Herb's bakery single busiest day, however, is packzi day. 

Wessel and Schwartz said their regular customers are always looking for their favorite muffin, sweet roll or doughnut; but they work to keep inventory changing, spicing up the cases in the retail bakery with creativity.   

Originally, Elgin boasted more than a dozen bakeries, and of those original bakeries, Herb's is the only one still open. 

As for the future, Wessel and Schwartz said they don't have another generation interested in taking over the business. For now the brother sister team will keep baking and be the place to go to for coffee and a sweet treat.