City Bakery treats
City Bakery, a well-known café and bakery with two locations in downtown Asheville and a successful wholesale product line, has become a beloved addition to Waynesville, N.C.’s, Main Street since taking over the space formerly occupied by Whitman’s Bakery.
The Howell family ran Whitmans’ for three generations until 2006, when the family chose to sell. Under new ownership, Whitman’s quickly declined in popularity and lost its standing as a Main Street institution, and owners were forced to close the doors for good in late 2011.
Taking over the location was a chance for a family business to pick up where a family business left off. Pat Dennehy, the owner of City Bakery, got into the bakery business upon buying his wife’s brother’s bakery. At the time, Dennehy was still general manager at the burgeoning Harrah’s Casino in Cherokee, so his wife, Ruth, ran the bakery.
“She always wanted to have a business,” Dennehy said. “We also wanted a business our children could be involved in.”
Each of the Dennehy’s five children has been involved with the bakery at one time or another, and now Megan Smith, the Dennehy’s daugher, and her husband, Jeff Smith, are managers of the Waynesville branch. Both live in Waynesville not too far from downtown.
Before opening this spring, City Bakery renovated the bakery—keeping the familiar feel of the dining area but updating the overall décor. Thanks to friendly staff, decadent cheddar biscuits, breads, cupcakes, and donuts, and a bustling lunch hour, City Bakery has restored the location to its historic position as a cornerstone of the community.