Resch's Bakery in eastern Columbus marks 100 years
The sinking of the Titanic and the opening of Fenway Park were notable events in 1912, the same year a man named Frank A. Resch and his nephew, Wilhelm, opened a family-owned bakery on East Livingston Avenue in east Columbus.
Their decision to open their own bakery was hastened by an employer who had fired the men on the spot after overhearing them discuss their desire to operate their own bakery.
Their endeavor was more than successful as few family-owned businesses can claim to have operated for a century, but among those few is Resch's Bakery, which on Sept. 10 will observe its 100th anniversary.
Today, about 40 employees work at the store; among them are seven members of the Resch family, including those of a sixth generation since the Resch family immigrated to the United States from Germany.
Frank X. Resch II, 54, a fifth-generation Resch, owns the bakery today remains active in daily operations, including baking the fresh pastries the bakery features.
"I think our quality products and great customer service" are the keys to the bakery's success, Resch said.
The bakery features a variety of pastries but is best known of its doughnuts. The bakery also makes breads, cupcakes, sheet cake, wedding cakes and other confections.
The family's story begins in 1906, when Frank A. Resch and his nephew, Wilhelm, immigrated to the United States from the small southern town of Neiderwinden, in the Black Forest region of Germany.
The men first found employment at a watch factory in New York City but eventually moved to Columbus, having learned of the city's communities of German immigrants.
The men worked at a bakery, where they became proficient enough that they began discussing their own bakery. The owner, overhearing the conversation, fired the pair of "ungrateful immigrants," according to family history.
They pooled their money and found just enough to open the first Resch Bakery, at 1029 E. Livingston Ave., on Sept. 10, 1912.
The store was at the corner of East Livingston Avenue and Champion Avenue. The family lived in an apartment on the second floor of the storeroom.
Several years later, Wilhelm went to Germany and returned to the United States with his wife and two children, Wilhelmina and Frank X. Resch I. A third son was born in the United States.
All three of the children worked at the bakery with their parents and Frank A. Resch.
In 1920, Frank A. Resch leased his interest to Wilhelm, who bought it outright in 1938, after the death of Frank A. Resch.
During the 1940s and '50s, Wilhelm's son, Frank X. Resch I, his wife and their five children worked at the bakery; among those children was Frank J. Resch, who obtained ownership and opened a bakery in 1960 to its present site at 4061 E. Livingston Ave.
Other family members continued to simultaneously operate the original bakery for a number of years until it closed and the bakery at 4061 E. Livingston Avenue was expanded.
Frank X. Resch is a fifth-generation owner of the bakery today while his children are the sixth generation of the Resch family to work at bakery.
"I was about 7 years old when I began working at the bakery," said Resch, who swept floors and stocked shelves.
By about age 16 or 17, he was baking pastries, a skill he maintains while working alongside his children.
Frank X. Resch II, his three children, his sister, Lisa, and her two children number the seven Resch family members who work at the bakery, whose hours are 6:50 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays.