History

Black Diamond BakeryThe Black Diamond Bakery was founded in 1959 by George Vanysseldyk, his wife Johanna, and their four children. The first location was on the north side of centre ave and first street. It was moved to the existing location in 1960. The building itself was moved to the site from Longview. It was part of the old school and consisted of two buildings; one used for home-economics, the other for shop. The work benches were still there. The main equipment included a mixer, slicer, donut fryer and a old oven from the 1920’s. Living quarters were arranged in the back; part of the old kitchen is still there today. The mixer was only used to mix white bread, everything was done by hand. The main products were bread, buns, donuts and cakes to order only. The store was closed on Sunday as well as Tuesday. Tuesdays were used to deliver orders to clients in Calgary as well as pick-up needed supplies for the bakery.

In 1973, a new oven from Dad’s cookies in Calgary was installed and is still in operation today. In 1977, George’s two sons took over the bakery. They bought new machinery including a bun divider, bread slicer, and bread moulder. The work benches were purchased from IGA in Drumheller. The proofer was a homemade wooden box rigged up with a plate warmer to boil water for steam. The sons sold the bakery to Fritz and Judy Lerch and their two children in 1979. Judy did not see the living quarters until they moved in and was surprised they had to live in the back. Three months later they bought a house in Black Diamond.

Fritz, a baker, decorator, was very handy with wood. In 1980-81, he built the front porch, put on new siding and installed a door and window on the front. Judy started deliveries to the surrounding areas. Fritz bought a new proofer, mixer, and a refrigerated showcase. He also added coffee, subs, pop, and milk for lunches.

In 1985 the bakery was sold again to George and Jytte Nielsen and their two children Tina and Glenn. In 1986, they installed a new floor, and more showcases to accommodate a larger variety of pastries, cookies, breads and buns. More staff was hired to handle the increased flow of customers.

Over the years, people from all walks of life and from all parts of the world have visited the Black Diamond Bakery. George and his staff produce many varieties of whole grain and old fashioned bread and buns. Take out soup and sandwiches were added and the need for a sitting area arose. Adding on the the front was the solution.