Since Bethel Bakery opened for business in the 1955 in the south hills section of Pittsburgh, generations of patrons have made their way to the shop for the bakery’s signature pastries, cookies, coffeecakes and one-of-a-kind cakes.
With a number of years of bakery experience, a stint in the Navy behind him and a small inheritance, Morris Walsh, with characteristic determination, made his dream of owning his own bakery a reality when he and a partner opened for business during the Eisenhower administration. While his business partner left the venture within a few months, Morris soon gained another associate, his future wife, Anna.
Together, the couple built the boutique bakery into one of the busiest and most beloved purveyors of high-quality baked goods in western Pennsylvania. And they did it while raising seven children, all of whom would eventually work in the family business.
Today, a second generation of the Walsh family manages the bakery. John and his wife, Chris, took over day-to-day operations in 1991and expanded the already extensive inventory of baked goods, but Morris and Anna’s legacy of exceptional quality and customer service lives on.
People travel for miles for a taste of Bethel Bakery’s signature buttercream icing and discriminating brides across the region wouldn’t dream of celebrating their nuptials with anything but a hand-crafted, custom-designed Bethel Bakery cake decorated by one of the shop’s talented designers.
In 2006, Bethel Bakery’s iconic status in the region was recognized by award-winning documentary filmmaker Rick Sebak, who featured the bakery in his WQED program, “What Makes Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh.”
In an era driven by convenience and competition from mega-markets and chain stores, Bethel Bakery has endured because it is far more than just a retailer of baked goods—it is an memorable destination experience and a nostalgic reminder of the charms of independent bakeries that were once part of the fabric of every community.