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Black forest tarte / Image: Katie Robinson, Cincinnati Refined // Published: 3.14.20

Emerson's Bakery Has Been a Family-Owned, Local Favorite Since the '70s

You don’t keep returning to a bakery for 50 years if it’s just average. When I stopped by, one of those return customers was excited to tell me all about his love for Emerson’s Bakery and how he remembers when the family-owned bakery was built around half a century ago. He’s been a regular since its opening. and perused the shelves for a bit before finalizing an assortment of sweets.

Cecil & Sharon Emerson put every dime they had into opening their first bakery on Manderlay Drive in Florence in 1970. Cecil was a hard worker and entrepreneur at heart with past experience working in a bakery when he was around 15. They knew baking was something they could do well and make it their own. A few years after opening, the Emersons moved the business into a former home they renovated into a shop less than a mile away on Dixie Highway. Over time, they expanded the business to include a total of five locations—two in Florence, two in Covington, and one in Erlanger.

Sharon has since passed away, but Cecil is still very active in the bakery. He continues to be very particular when it comes to making sure their high-quality treats are always made precisely, using old fashioned methods without cutting corners.

“My dad’s 80 and he still out-works the 55-year-olds,” says Steve Emerson, Cecil & Sharon’s son and the general manager of Emerson’s Bakery.

And when it comes to the made-from-scratch goods that keep customers coming back all these years, you can always expect a wide selection to satisfy any sweet tooth. Plump donuts, smiley face cookies, cheese pockets, double butters, and coffee cakes are among their specialties, but they pack their shelved cases with other items such as cakes, ├ęclairs, cream-filled pastries, and seasonal treats, too.

Just like their signature recipes, Emerson’s continues to be delectable and truly one of a kind.

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The official Emerson’s Bakery anniversary is in August of 2020. Celebrate by checking out any of their five NKY locations. And take a look through the gallery above to see what all the sugary fuss is about.

  • 7606 Dixie Highway (Florence)
  • 8459 U.S. HWY 42 (Florence)
  • 4147 Madison Pike (Covington)
  • 3612 Decoursey Avenue (Covington)
  • 3411 Dixie Highway (Erlanger)