All of those delicacies will be available at the Johnson City location of Peggy Ann Bakery, 803 W. Walnut St., which will hold a soft opening starting at 6 a.m. Wednesday.
“We’re going to focus on the sweet stuff,” said Will Martin, who operates the bakery with his wife Stacy.
Martin said Johnson City, which will be the bakery’s second location, was an appealing place to expand for a number of reasons. The family business’ original store in Greeneville, which will remain in operation, was already receiving plenty of traffic from people traveling the 30 to 60 minutes it took to get there from Jonesborough, Johnson City and Elizabethton.
“It’s worked out well,” Martin said. “The feedback from the community has been phenomenal.”
Peggy Ann Bakery is grounded in family tradition. Stacy Martin’s grandfather and grandmother, Bill and Peggy Ann Arrowood, founded the bakery in 1982 with Peggy Ann serving as the inspiration for the bakery’s name.
Stacy’s grandfather died several years after the bakery got off the ground, and his son, John Arrowood, who had been helping his parents with the business, picked up the reins, operating the bakery alongside his wife Imogene.
Stacy’s parents spent a lot of time at the bakery when she was a kid, and she grew up assisting her father with much of the actual baking.
“At a very young age I started making pumpkin pies and breads,” she said. “It was my job — the easier things that he could find for me to do.”
The bakery’s most popular items tend to be their donuts, danishes and Bachelor Button and Novak cookies. Many of the bakery’s recipes are also tied to tradition.
“We’re using the same recipes that we’ve used for 50 years or more,” Stacy said. “A lot of these recipes are my grandfather’s recipes from a very long time ago, and some are even older.”
Will Martin pointed to recent efforts to stimulate growth as one reason for the expansion to Johnson City, citing local projects like the revitalization of West Walnut Street and the planned rehabilitation of both the Model Mill and the John Sevier Center.
“We think we’re on the front end of it we hope,” Martin said.
Stacy and Will looked at a few other properties in Johnson City before settling on the location on West Walnut Street. The building they chose used to be home to Alley Kat and Slammin’ Sammy’s.
“What we were wanting to do was obviously be a community bakery — people come in and bring their kids,” he said, which is an atmosphere the family has cultivated over the years at their bakery in Greeneville.
Walnut Street seemed to fit that bill, Will said, offering close proximity to both the Tree Streets neighborhood and East Tennessee State University.
“We can still keep that nice family atmosphere: People can come in and have those special occasion moments with us,” he said.