Jubelt’s Bakery and Restaurant celebrates 95th anniversary
LITCHFIELD (Oct. 12, 2017) – Jubelt’s Bakery and Restaurant in Litchfield is celebrating its 95th year in business this year. In honor of the anniversary, from Friday, Oct. 20, through Sunday, Oct. 22, Jubelt’s will give away 95 prizes and offer $0.95 specials.
Brothers Paul, Fred and Albert Jubelt bought an existing bakery in Mt. Olive in May 1922. A. Jubelt passed away in 1929, and F. Jubelt opened a second bakery in Granite City. The partnership dissolved in 1935, and P. Jubelt continued to operate the Mt. Olive location himself
As more highways were built in the 1930s, competition from national bread companies increased dramatically. P. Jubelt started a house-to-house route, with his son John driving a truck at age 14. That effort came to an end with the advent of World War II and the resulting shortages of materials and manpower.
J. Jubelt joined the company full-time in 1949. The following year, Jubelt’s opened another store in Taylorville. J. Jubelt married Iris Dawkins and was soon drafted and sent to Korea; upon returning home, he and his wife opened another store in downtown Litchfield in 1952. Over the next 40 years, more stores were opened in the surrounding area, including Lincoln, Carlinville, Staunton, Gillespie and Springfield. In addition to their own stores, the bakery served many independent grocers.
P. Jubelt passed away in 1970. In the late 1970s, to meet customer demand, Jubelt’s started selling prepackaged sandwiches in the Litchfield store. Deciding to expand the lunch business, J. Jubelt made a deal with the owner of a new concept restaurant in Litchfield, Stick and Dip, to provide instruction and recipes. After some sessions in the test kitchen at Bunn Capital, he and his wife expanded the lunch offerings to include freshly-made sandwiches, salads and soups in all of their stores.
Their son, Lance, joined the family business full-time after graduating from college in 1977. As business in Litchfield began to shift to the west side of town, they began to look for a larger place with parking. When the Burger Chef building on Route 66 came available, the family took the plunge and opened the current restaurant in 1982.
J. Jubelt used to say, “If we hadn’t gotten into the restaurant business, we wouldn’t be here having the conversation.” As the 1980s drew to a close, the start of a new decade brought changes in the bakery business. With the introduction of supermarket bakeries and big box stores, many family bakeries began to fold and independent grocers struggled to stay open. J. Jubelt passed away in August 2003; soon afterward, Jubelt’s began closing stores. L. Jubelt passed away in May 2007.
Shortly before J. Jubelt’s death in 2003, his daughter Jeanmarie returned home from Chicago, where she had lived and worked for 20 years. After L. Jubelt’s death, I. Jubelt and Jeanmarie Jubelt decided to keep only the Litchfield store open and to relocate bakery production there. Jeanmarie Jubelt purchased the business from her mother in January 2008, their 86th year of operation.
Current Jubelt’s Bakery and Restaurant employees include, front row, from left, Trinidad Lucas, Becky Brown, Angie Frank, Tina Allen, Sarah Wells, Laura Hamilton, Kristian Nowell and Jean Jubelt; middle row, Chris Lane, Justin Amyx, Hunter Moore, Tyler Zumwalt, Ian Steward, Roger Molohon and Brad Fricke; back row, Lucas Quance, Katy Kroski and Jason Willows. Not pictured are Brad Pratt, Sue Fritzsche, Jan Sloane, Lori Wilhelm, Dena Allen, Laura Davidson, Charlotte Keeton, Colby Langen, Abby Millsap, Mike Ballard and Kyle Jeffers.