Schneider's Bakery in Westerville reopens after prolonged kitchen closing

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group
Shaun Stonerook, Schneider’s Bakery owner since 2017, holds a tray of fresh doughnuts April 7. Schneider’s is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

The kitchen had been closed unexpectedly for five weeks, but Schneider's Bakery, a Westerville staple since 1954, has reopened. 

Shaun Stonerook, Schneider’s owner since spring 2017, said a leak in the roof at 6 S. State St. caused the closing that initially was supposed to be one week. 

“We had to get a new roof, new ceiling, new walls and new floor – basically, an entirely new kitchen,” he said.

The iconic Westerville bakery reopened its doors March 29.

“We are extremely lucky to be in a great community that supports us little guys,” said a notice on Schneider’s Facebook page. “It’s been extremely difficult for everyone in the past year, and we really appreciate the support and are thankful for everyone that has been in or ordered cookies online.”

“We're so happy for you that you could update the back kitchen,” posted Lisa Moretti Chakford. “We're just excited to get donuts again!”

“YAY!!! So happy you’re back open,” posted Tashira Bommer. 

Chris Moninger said he was driving from Wooster to Springfield the day after the re-opening.

“Leaving early to stop by the best bakery I know. Perfect timing,” he posted.

Judy Kauffer, a Westerville resident since 1973, said she has been a customer of the bakery for years.

"We've always got good cakes, cookies and all that stuff from here," she said. "I like the nut-topped doughnuts. I just got petit fours for my daughter's birthday." 

Schneider's Bakery at 6 S. State St. in Westerville offers a variety of doughnut and other sweets. It recently reopened after five weeks of renovation.

Worthington resident Kathy Gaddis visited the bakery April 8 with her children, Corinne, 12, and Simon, 8, who are on spring break. 

"The doughnuts are great," Simon Gaddis said. "I like the ones with candy on it."

"I like the turnovers," Corinne Gaddis said. 

Kathy Gaddis said her husband works in Westerville.

"We've been here a couple times," she said. "It's really yummy." 

Schneider’s is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Customers can order online at Schneiders-bakery.com or can call in to order at 614-882-6611.

In addition to the kitchen work, Stonerook said, the past year has been a struggle as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

He said the hours are a lot shorter than previously because customers weren’t coming in. 

“We did open at 1 a.m. on weekends (previously),” Stonerook said. “We couldn’t do that. I think we did about 45% to 50% of our normal-year stuff. We have a lot of commercial accounts. We deliver to hospitals and corporate accounts. We weren’t doing that, and walk-in business was lower.”

Stonerook said he hopes to return to longer hours eventually. 

“There isn’t the business to do it right now,” he said.

Otterbein University students previously supported the bakery with “doughnut runs” in the early morning hours, but they weren’t even on campus for a period of time last year, and the hours currently don’t accommodate those visits, Stonerook said. 

Schneider’s Bakery, 6 S. State St. in Westerville, is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

He anticipates business will come back. 

“A lot of it is that people aren’t getting together and doing things,” he said. “They don’t need desserts and pies. People are staying home.”

By volume, Stonerook said, Schneider’s sells the most doughnuts, cookies and cakes.

Other sweets include pies, danishes and pastries. 

Stonerook said the most popular are the chocolate-iced-cream-filled doughnut and the cutout sugar cookie.

He said business on Easter weekend was OK this year. 

“We didn’t have Easter (business) last year,” Stonerook said. “It has changed. It’s not like it was before. We were 65% of normal. It used to be our second- or third-biggest day.”

He said he hopes to eventually remodel the bakery’s lobby.

“If I knew it was going to be five weeks we were closed, we would’ve done something,” Stonerook said. “When I ask the majority of people what they would like changed, they say it’s perfect. At some point, it has to be done. When we redo it, we’ll probably try to make it look old but look new. I think we would keep it looking the old school look. I’m not sure when we’ll get that.”

He said the business employees about 23 staff members, with the majority being part-time.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla