The former owners of Leidig's Bakery, which last month closed after 46 years because of financial difficulties, plan to open a new bakery soon in its place.
John and Linda Fisher, who owned the bakery from 1982 until 1988, said they hope to reopen the Main Street store in Ellicott City by June. The couple still owns the building and will call it Fishers' Bakery of Ellicott City.
"We want people to know we're back," said Mrs. Fisher, who hopes to win back loyal customers by returning to Norman Leidig's original doughnut recipes.
"We're going back to the old way of baking," Mrs. Fisher said. "We're going to bake on the premises."
Mrs. Fisher said she and her husband will expand the bakery's line of novelty cakes to include bigger, fancier cakes. They also will bring back their sandwich and dinner rolls, bagels, cheese bread, doughnuts, pastries and cookies.
A popular county bakery since 1947, Leidig's has recently been through rough times.
Last month, company President Dan D'Alonzo abruptly closed the Ellicott City store because of a 24 percent drop in sales during the past three months, high rent and increased production costs.
Last June, the bakery filed for bankruptcy protection and closed its Columbia store in the Long Reach Village Center.
The Fishers opened the Columbia store after a fire destroyed the Main Street bakery in 1984.
But difficulties hiring enough production employees to stock both stores, long hours and two young children forced the couple to sell the Columbia store in 1988, Mrs. Fisher said.
"We were like ships in the night," Mrs. Fisher said of her and her husband, who used to work 16- to 21-hour days. The grueling hours prevented the couple from spending time with their daughters, who were then 12 and 6.
The couple decided to sell the business when Mr. Fisher finally told his wife: 'We didn't get married to be married to the business, we got married to each other and to have a family."
Now that their daughters are older and can participate in the family business, Mrs. Fisher said they would like to return to Ellicott City.
"We have a commitment to Ellicott City," Mrs. Fisher said. "We still have a love for Ellicott City.