Throwback Thursday – Riley’s Bakery

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Tea cookies. Blondie brownies. Cream horns. Hungarian coffee cakes. These are a just few of the favorites from Bowling Green’s oldest local bakery. This week we’re taking in 75 years of history at Riley’s bakery on the bypass.

In 1922, a young William Riley graduated from Berea College with a baking degree. He took baking jobs around Kentucky, ending up in Corbin with his family at the start of WWII. As part of the war effort, places across the country were rationing everyday items used around the house and in the kitchen.

Sugar was being rationed so intensely at William Riley’s Corbin bakery that he started looking for other bakeries that may have a higher sugar count. A bakery just off the square in downtown Bowling Green was for sale, and in 1943, he bought it. Riley’s Bakery was officially born. William operated both the Corbin and Bowling Green bakeries during the rest of the war.

William moved the bakery from the Spot Cash building to the main Fountain Square in 1949, where he eventually outgrew the space by the late 1960s. His son, Dan, and daughter-in-law Sandy built and moved the bakery to its current bypass location in 1968.

Dan and Sandy value their employees and baking the best creations around. Riley’s is known for its daily batches of tea cookies, cream horns, brownies and coffee cakes. But Riley’s also sells breakfast and lunch items and bakes custom cakes for weddings and special occasions.

Shaun Riley is the bakery’s third generation of family management, and Bowling Green’s taste buds continue to crave Riley’s creations.