In 1975, when Dewey Adelsperger retired from the State of Florida, where he worked as Director of Exhibition Buildings for the Historic St Augustine Preservation Board, he and his wife, Marjorie, established the Spanish Bakery. Last weekend, their son, Gene and his wife, Beth, closed the doors after its 38-year run.
Dewey passed away in January 2006. Marge, now 82-years-old, retired in 2011 and lives with her daughter, Kathy Robinson in Ellijay, Georgia. The St George Street business remained in the family for the duration — even Gene’s 19-year-old son worked at the historic location; once the kitchen for the Salcedo House, and rebuilt in 1962.
“It was time,” Gene Adelsperger said to an audience attending the final performance of the 16th century St George Street Players who performed in the Spanish Bakery’s courtyard. Wednesday, July 17th, was the 38th anniversary of the business’s opening.
The restored building is one of 37 historic properties and parking lots located on St. George Street, Cuna Street, Treasury Street, Aviles Street, Spanish Street and Charlotte Street owned by Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida; that, since October 1, 2010, have been managed by the University of Florida Historic St Augustine, Inc.
The Spanish Bakery was tucked away in an out-of-the-way garden in the middle of St Augustine’s downtown historic district, but was never hard to find if you followed the sweet smell of freshly baked bread coming out of the stone hearth oven every half-hour, or so. The bakery’s kitchen was one of the few downtown that served authentic, traditional Spanish food; empanadas, the spicy sausage wrapped in a flaky golden crust, or a bowl of Picadillo with a freshly baked roll.
Property Manager Billy Triay, who handles the local rental properties for the direct support organization tells Historic City News that the valuable location isn’t expected to remain vacant. Plans for the future of the building have not been announced.
Photo credits: © 2013 Historic City News archive photographs