New Braunfels – As a new day arrives in New Braunfels, there’s some new folks who found a not-so-new bakery in the middle of downtown. The smell of warm baked bread and morning snacks has radiated from this really old building for a really long time, but it wouldn’t be possible without a baker or two.
“Well, it’s a lot of early morning hours,” Ross Granzin said.
Ross has been working at Naegelin’s Bakery since he was 16, and the four decades he’s been here only accounts for a quarter of this business’ history.
“It’s been here 148 years in this same place,” Ross said.
Founded by Edouard Naegelin in 1868, the business was built on modest means.
“He came with what they said was just fifty cents in his pocket, one bag of flour,” Ross said. “He started his bakery here.”
Ross’s father bought the bakery back in 1980 from Clinton Frank, Edouard’s grandson.
“I think he stayed for 8 months just trying to show us the ropes and everything that we needed to know,” Ross said. “I learned a lot from him, I’m glad I got that experience with him.”
Being a baker, Ross gets here really early, usually around four in the morning.
“I live about 20 minutes away and I get about 25 minutes til,” Luke said. “Like I said, we don’t talk much in the first hour.”
His team rolls, twists, slices, and glazes everything before the first roster realizes it’s the morning.
“I got about nine bakers back there and they get goin,” Luke said. “We get it out fast. That’s what we’ve always prided ourselves about, there’s not a whole lot of full line bakeries anymore and make the older style stuff that we still make.”
It’s not just strudel, sweet buns, bread, and bear claws that Naeglin’s is known for, they also make hamburger buns for local restaurants and even tortillas.
“I have a lot Spanish ladies that always say to me, man, I haven’t made in tortillas anymore cause I like y’alls so much,” Luke said. “I said ‘Really?’”
Toast is probably frowned upon here, but this is the toast of the town and perhaps even worth toasting to.
“Growing up in New Braunfels, I would come here on Saturday mornings when they were just getting the donuts and the baked goods out of the oven,” Ron Perry said. “I remember that smell. It’s like nothing else in this world.”
Ron has many memories of mornings here baked in his brain.
“I’d save up my money throughout the week, I’d come in and I’d get the donut holes, they were three cents each, I’d get as many as I could afford at a bag full and I’d sit out there on the curb and just scarf them down,” Ron said. “That was living the life.”
Ron served in the Navy for 31 years, so he’s seen the world. The first place he visited when he got home was this bakery.
“It was great, it was great cause so much has changed,” Ron said. “When I left in the Navy, it was population about 14,000. Now we’re right about 70-80,000 is what I hear. So much has changed and grown. Business and friends have moved on and disappeared. It’s nice to have some things that were there and still here. That really make New Braunfels unique in what it is, it’s such a special place.”
He’s not the only one with special memories of this place.
“This is my childhood,” Patricia Perez said. “This is my adulthood. This is my kid’s childhood. My parents visit here. They were born and raised here as well so, Naeglin’s means a lot to us.”
If you’re looking for some fresh dough and Texas history, Naegelin’s Bakery in New Braunfels is a can’t miss stop on the Texas Bucket List.
“Proud of that,” Patricia said. “There’s heritage here. It goes long and it goes deep. It’s really rich. I’m very proud to have them here.”