The sweet smell of baking cakes and cookies has hung over 1320 E. State Boulevard in Fort Wayne for decades.
Who was responsible for this delightful deluge of aromas of baking breads, cinnamon, vanilla and all things sweet? This distinction belongs to Emmons Edmond Junior Johnnie Newton Clark, owner and master baker of Scott Bakery, which provided wedding, graduation, anniversary and just plain old good cakes and pastries to thousands of Fort Wayne-area residents.
Clark, a resident of Summit City Nursing and Rehabilitation, operated Scott Bakery from 1952 until his health declined and the bakery was sold a few years ago. Some of his high-profile customers included the Fort Wayne Komets.
“Danish, cinnamon rolls, sticky bars, cake doughnuts. People really miss them,” said his wife, Nancy Rupp Clark. “Everyone knew us.”
Clark, who now has dementia, moved to Fort Wayne with his father as a high school freshman and attended Central High School. At school, he gave himself the name Johnnie and added a few others until he had six names, including Junior.
Clark began his baking career while in the Army during World War II. When he returned home, he was hired to work at Scott Bakery, which was founded by Paul Scott, who opened the bakery in 1925, the year Clark was born.
Clark was a good understudy, said his wife. He learned all parts of the business and bought it in 1952. His rapport with his staff and customers was widely known. The bakery was the oldest family-run retail bakery in Fort Wayne.
“He was one of the best people you could ever work for,” said Dana Geller, a family friend and former Scott Bakery employee.
Another one of his employees, Nancy Rupp, became his wife and worked with him in the business.
“I fell in love with the boss,” she said.
They had two sons, one of whom joined his father at Scott Bakery. That son, John, also became well-known for his cake-decorating ability.
The bakery was a busy hub of family, friends and customers coming and going with sacks of baked goods. Scott Bakery earned a good reputation for the quality of cakes and pastries Clark and his team baked daily. His cakes and icing were all made from scratch.
Clark also was busy outside of the bakery. He served as president of the Indiana Bakers Association, president of the East State Street Merchants Association, a Boy Scouts leader and was active in his church.
“Anything he got involved in, he became a leader or an officer,” his wife said.
For as much as he’s gained and given, Clark has also lost. A son died in a motorcycle accident. Two of his daughters died at birth. His first wife died young.
However, the joy he has brought has been immeasurable, his wife said.
“He’s provided cakes for hundreds and hundreds of weddings,” she said. “Every weekend, he might have three or four weddings and the cakes to provide.”
Clark’s home at Summit City Nursing and Rehabilitation is a 10-minute drive from the bakery where he spent so many years of his life. He still loves seeing visitors.
The bakery was vacant for a while. But it has re-opened under new ownership.
Yum-Mee’s Bakery, owned by pastry chef Terry Mee, specializes in cupcakes. He also bakes cookies, brownies, muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls and sticky buns.