Sweetwater Sound buys Aunt Millie’s Bakery in downtown Fort Wayne

Sweetwater Sound is buying the Aunt Millie's Bakery, but the Sunbeam sign will stay. (Courtesy photo)
The Aunt Millie's property is in the heart of a downtown quickly being redeveloped.

Confirming a News-Sentinel report last Friday, the former Aunt Millie’s Bakery in downtown Fort Wayne will be sold to Sweetwater Sound, Inc., Aunt Millie’s announced Monday. The properties include the former bakery and office building and approximately eight acres of other buildings and parking lots.

Aunt Millie’s corporate offices and approximately 125 jobs will remain at the current facility at 350 Pearl St., through a leaseback of space to accommodate those needs. Aunt Millie’s Fort Wayne Bakery closed in April, but the iconic Sunbeam sign will remain atop the building.

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“We are thrilled to stay at our headquarters downtown, where we have been since our founding in 1901,” Aunt Millie’s President John Popp said in a statement. “We are very pleased to partner with Chuck Surack and the Sweetwater group and are glad to be a part of their future vision which we are certain will have a positive impact to Fort Wayne. We simply had more space than we needed and feel the extra space will serve a new and better purpose to continuing to serve the community.”

“Aunt Millie’s is a Fort Wayne institution and its sign is iconic in downtown,” Sweetwater Founder and President Surack stated. “We are pleased that with the purchase of this property, we are able to keep the Aunt Millie’s corporate offices in their current location. The property’s proximity to The Landing, riverfront development — including the Sweetwater Stage — and other ventures makes it central to Fort Wayne’s future. We are excited to be part of downtown revitalization and plan to continue to invest in and help support further growth in our city.”

Sweetwater spokeswoman Heather Herron said the company has no immediate plans for the rest of the campus and wil not demolish any of the existing buildings, but may do some remodeling and updating of the structures. The purchase is unrelated to the $76.4 million dollar expansion project announced last week by Sweetwater at its U.S. 30 campus., and Herron said no company operations will be moving downtown from the west-side campus.

The purchase price was not immediately disclosed.