Last week, I presented an overview of downtown businesses in Sapulpa in the 50s and 60s. I will be highlighting individual businesses from that era and the people who made them what they were. This week’s featured downtown business from long ago is “Tasty Pastry Bakery.”
Tasty Pastry Bakery opened in December 1945. Fred Greeson, in partnership with his brother Ray, opened the bakery with equipment purchased from Rogers Bakery after it closed. Tasty Pastry baked cakes and breads only. The first location was 17 S. Main. A few years later, they moved to 317 E. Dewey, site of the former Rogers Bakery and the current location of Security National Bank (First United Bank). In October 1956, the bakery moved to 9 S. Main (current location of Sharris Technologies). They remained at that location until they closed in 1974.
Shortly after opening, Ray moved elsewhere, and Fred continued to run the bakery with the help of family members. Fred Greeson retired in 1969 and the business was purchased by his daughter, Wanda Davis, and her husband, Ralph.
Long lines formed each Sunday as people came to Tasty Pastry to pick up some hot, “just out of the oven” French bread or butter bread with butter dripping down the sides.
The most popular item was the rum cake made from a secret family recipe. Customers came from all over the area, even out of state, to purchase these heavenly delights. Brownies were another popular item made with a secret ingredient. At least a dozen varieties of cookies were baked regularly. My favorite, by far, was their banana cookie, which was a shortbread cookie, shaped like a banana, dyed yellow, with banana flavoring. These were also baked from a family recipe, not to be replicated anywhere. There were doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, and of course, crème horns, that were to “die for.”
Unlike today’s grocery store bakeries, everything was baked from scratch. The prices would astound people today, who pay up to a dollar for a Krispy Kreme doughnut or 50 cents and up for a single cookie. Back then, cookies sold for 25 cents a dozen, doughnuts were 50 cents a dozen, and crème horns were a dime apiece.
Decorated cakes were an important part of Tasty Pastry’s business. Fred’s skill at decorating wedding cakes was unmatched and become legendary. I can personally attest to those skills, as my family bought many cakes for different occasions. They were delicious as well as works of art. Fred taught his granddaughter-in-law, Sharen Davis, all of his cake decorating skills. She continued decorating cakes and taught cake decorating at Vo Tech (Central Tech) for many years.
Although the bakery is gone, many people in Sapulpa (and I) will cherish the memories of this wonderful establishment. Paperboys, before starting their routes, would come in the back door for doughnuts; policemen on the early morning beat could get a cup of hot coffee and fresh doughnuts. People of all religious beliefs and political persuasions could always agree on one thing: Tasty Pastry Bakery was the only place to go for hot buttered bread, doughnuts and cookies.
I wish to thank Larry Davis, grandson of Fred Greeson, for graciously providing biographical information and photographs.