Earlier this year, the City of Glen Cove honored its oldest businesses—those that have been in existence for 75 years or more. Among these long-time city staples is Landing Bakery, which has been a favorite of the Glen Cove community since the 1860s, and remains a popular family owned destination today. Regularly producing quality baked goods at affordable prices, the business is one the few that remains on Landing Road. Formerly known as White Eagle and informally known as the Polish bakery, Landing Bakery has been owned by the Kern family for nearly 60 years.
“There was a business on every corner on Landing Road at the time,” said Kevin Kern, whose parents purchased the bakery in 1959, a modest storefront on the first floor of a house, just two blocks from Morgan Park.
He said they learned that the bakery was for sale and came down to take a look. His father’s initial impression was to walk away.
“But my mother was a hard worker and she had a vision. She said, ‘no, we’ll make a go of it,’” said Kern.
And they did—between his mother’s knowledge of the bakery business and his father’s baking skills, they were able to make the business successful.
“Before that, it wasn’t much,” he said.
Back then, he said there were a lot of Polish and Russian immigrants in the area who worked in the local factories and would stop in for lunch or fresh bread, which helped make the business thrive.
“We still make a lot of the old world favorites—babkes and jelly doughnuts with lots of jelly,” said Kern. “Our hard rolls and rye bread is the best on Long Island.”
Kern has worked full time at the bakery since 1976 and bought it from his father about 25 years ago, at which time he got married and started a family.
“I figured if I was going to do this kind of work, this kind of manual labor, I had to start a family,” he said. “It made sense, and now it’s progressing again.”
His children are 16 and 13 and while they like to help him in the bakery, he’s not sure they’ll want to continue the family business, or that he wants that for them.
A baker’s life is not easy: Kern regularly starts his day at 1 a.m. and works six days a week. The fact that he does most of the work himself helps keeps the labor costs down and the prices low.
Still, he said business is good. He’s picked up different recipes over the years and has adapted to the changing demands of clientele.
“Bakeries have become more cafes, so we’re leaning that way,” he said.
In the near future, he plans to add more sandwiches and hot foods like hot dogs and hamburgers to the menu, and will likely hire more help, such as a short order cook.
He has a loyal customer base, but acknowledges he could do more in terms of marketing.
Landing Bakery is at 147 Landing Rd. and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 6:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.