KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WFRV) – Hill Top Bakery is turning 100 years old this week, and mayor Tony Penterman gave a proclamation declaring October 17 Hill Top Bakery Day in Kaukauna.
“It’s been an adventure, I would say. It’s kind of gone very fast,” owner Lynn Engel said, who has owned the bakery with her husband Mark for 28 years.
The bakery has remained in the same building since it opened in 1923, and the building was repurposed after originally being a horse stable. Lynn’s parents owned the bakery for 26 years before her.
“I think they’d be proud of us that we kept it going,” she said. “I think they’re looking down and smiling.”
Her father, a mill worker, worked at the bakery while he was in high school and then decided to buy it when it went up for sale.
“It’s a family venture, and I think we’re going to keep doing it that way,” Mark said. “It is the community that allows us to not just keep surviving, but even thriving.”
Lynn and Mark’s daughter, Gabrielle Engel, now a manager at the bakery, knows the hard work and commitment it takes to keep the business running.
“Growing up, it took our whole life and day to day, our whole family was involved,” she said. “How much respect and admiration I have for my parents. They’re the hardest working people I know, I admire and aspire to be them.”
The Engels say the loyalty the community shows keeps them going and on their toes.
“They don’t want anything to change. So the peanut squares that we have on special today, it is the same recipe and product that we’ve been making for 50 years, that my father made,” Lynn said. “Got to be the same, or people know.”
“The support and loyalty of the community allows us to be here for 100 years,” Mark said. “It is the community that allows us to not just keep surviving, but even thriving.”