The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

December 30, 2012

Bakery got start in Southtown

(Continued)

“Some of the Prices are related to me. My mom was a Price, and they were my cousins,” she said of the baking kin.

“Some of us kids went down there and they gave us day-old doughnuts, which I don’t think pleased my father too much,” she recalled.

“They later had a bakery on Main Street.”

It might seem hard to believe now but Mel Price, who is well known in the area for his rock-hauling business, used to decorate and assemble wedding cakes as a teenager along with his younger brother, Dave.

“I worked there from the time I was 13 or 14 years old until a little after high school,” he said. “Dad made all the kids work. It was a family business.”

Price said there were five Price brothers — Howard, Harlan, Leo, Ray and Fermer — and two or three of them along with his father, Howard, started Price Brothers Bakery in the 1930s.

“He started cooking doughnuts in his basement and delivered them to restaurants around town,” Price said of his father.

“They participated in the business until the Depression,” he added, referring to his uncles.

Howard continued to run the bakery with his wife Pearl and three to five other bakers for more than three decades.

After leaving its basement location, the bakery moved to a brick building that still exists behind Watson Tire and then to a former Grab-It-Here store at the northwest corner of East Main and Buchanan streets, which is a used car lot today.

When the bakery moved into the larger Grab-It-Here location, it became known as Price Brothers and Coffee Bar.

“It was a full-line bakery and on the east end was a coffee bar,” Price said. “We made everything, even tiered wedding cakes and Italian bread.”

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