Remember Leidig's Bakery? A look back at a beloved Ellicott City institution

Each morning at Leidig’s Bakery, the glass case beckoned with row upon row of sugary doughnuts in all of their glazed glory. But not for long. The pastries went fast as folks rushed to buy them, even double-parking outside the brick shop at 8143 Main St. in Ellicott City. The doughnuts were worth the risk.

For 34 years, Norman Leidig indulged Howard County’s sweet tooth, opening the bakery in 1948 selling made-from-scratch goodies, among them cakes, buns and breads. Purchase a cheese loaf, fresh from the oven, and a chunk would disappear before you hit the street. Guaranteed.

During the holidays, Leidig’s made gingerbread houses, fairy-tale concoctions that delighted children who would devour them, piece by piece (roof today, door tomorrow).

Though Leidig sold the place in 1982, the new owners, John and Linda Fisher, kept his recipes. Two years later, the store and five nearby buildings were destroyed by a blaze that started in the bakery. (The fire consumed a restaurant next door, Chez Fernand, whose owner relocated several blocks up Main Street. Thus was Tersiguel’s born.)

Rebuilt, the bakery continued in operation, off and on, under several owners until closing in 2010. Leidig, who continued to bake — in retirement — at his Reisterstown home, died just months before. Spared by May’s flood, the shop sits empty, a “For Lease” sign out front.

mike.klingaman@baltsun.com

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