Aunt Millie’s bakery operation in downtown Fort Wayne to close

Over 90 employees will be affected; iconic sign, corporate offices to remain

Aunt Millie's Bakeries will phase out its baking operation on Pearl Street in Fort wayne and close it by April 2018, but the corporate offices will remain open in the building. (By Dan Vance of
The iconic sign atop the Aunt Millie's Bakery on Pearl Street will remain. (By Dan Vance of

Aunt Millie’s Bakeries will close its bakery on Pearl Street in downtown Fort Wayne, the company announced Monday.

Employees were informed Monday that the facility, one of seven Aunt Millie’s Bakeries locations in the Midwest, will phase out production by April 2018, the announcement said.

Aunt Millie’s expects about 91 employees will be laid off permanently, but the company said it will work with bakery workers’ union to provide them with assistance transitioning to other employment.

The company’s headquarters, which includes about 120 administrative staff, will remain open at the Pearl Street location.

“Due to the current business environment, and after undertaking capacity and logistical analysis, we determined we need to close our Fort Wayne bakery,” said Aunt Millie’s Bakeries President John F. Popp in a release. “This is a critical step in reducing excess capacity and costs to allow ourselves to maintain our leadership position in the baking industry. We reached this extremely difficult but necessary decision after thoroughly exploring other options.”

City of Fort Wayne Redevelopment Director Nancy Townsend said the city is interested in the property, which is in the riverfront development boundaries.

The family-owned business began in 1901 at the location as the Wayne Biscuit Company.

The iconic Aunt Millie’s Bakery sign with the revolving slices of bread will remain, according to Aunt Millie’s spokeswoman Melissa Dunning. The sign was placed atop the Pearl Street building in 1957.

The two Aunt Millie’s outlet stores in Fort Wayne also will remain open, the company said.

-Kevin Leininger of contributed to this story.