Local business JeannieBird Baking Company is located in the heart of Westminster on Main Street, and it is thriving! After over two years, they have taken the chairs off the tables and opened up their dining room, so people can now sit and eat in the bakery. Their hours have gone from only being open three days a week to now being open five days a week.
JeannieBird Baking Company is a family oriented bakery that started in a farmers market and has grown into the hometown’s favorite bakery. It was opened by Bernie Vogel and his late wife Jeannie, who passed in a tragic motor vehicle accident in 2016. The bakery has been open for seven and a half years, and Bernie has been running it by himself for the past six years.
Even through tragedy,Vogel says, “It was the community that kept me going. After the accident I thought about closing the cafe, but it was the love from the local sheriff department and the Westminster community that kept me in business. The community became family to me. They stood by me and made sure I couldn’t fail.”
Not only has the bakery had a huge impact on the Westminster community, but also the McDaniel community. Prior to the covid-19 pandemic, JeannieBird was the largest redeemers of McDaniel bucks, and they advertised regularly in the McDaniel Free Press. The bakery is also a favored employer of students at McDaniel, and many tend to work there even after graduation. It is a place they can stay until they move onto something bigger and better. Maybe you’ll recognize some of the friendly faces behind the counter during your text trip to the beloved bakery!
Vogel is not your typical business owner, because you can always see him working in the bakery. What makes JeannieBird so special is the atmosphere. It is a small intimate place that feels like home. In the words of Vogel, “the atmosphere is like Cheers without the alcohol.”
Vogel makes sure all his customers are comfortable; he learns their names so the next time they come in, he can greet them by name. Not only can you eat in the space, but you can also bring your laptop, work on homework or simply stay for the good conversion. Vogel has future plans to open the bakery for evening activities as a way to give the community more variety in the evening.
The Company is hoping to restore their full menu sometime soon. The menu is limited due to staff shortages, but small bakery goods are still available daily, such as ham and swiss croissants, blondie bars, sugar cookies, and other delicious treats. JeannieBird has the best ham and gruyere croissants in town. They have survived tragedy and a pandemic over these past seven years; hopefully they will still be up and running for many more to come.