Tracing its history back to 1923, the Slaton Bakery is one of the oldest continuously operating bakeries in Texas. Three generations of dedicated bakers have made life sweeter for West Texans; today folks across the state can enjoy treats from this family that is still committed to quality and taste.
The town of Slaton is located about fifteen miles southeast of Lubbock on U.S. Hwy 84. Established in 1911 by the Pecos and Northern Texas Railway, Slaton was the center of the largest division in the Santa Fe System. The town quickly grew and became the westernmost German settlement in Texas. The Blue Ribbon Bakery and City Bakery opened in 1921 and then consolidated in 1923 to form the Slaton Baking Company.
Barney and Ollie Mae Wilson purchased the bakery from Mr. R.D. Hickman in 1943. They persevered through rationing during World War II, introduced sliced hamburgers and hot dog buns to the area, distributed Mrs. Baird’s products, and produced pastries.
Sherrill, the Wilson’s youngest son, and his wife Robin took over operations in 1973. The business moved to its present location in 1982, which ironically enough was the original location of the Bakery.
Chad Wilson, the son of current owners Sherrell and Robin Wilson recalls growing up in the bakery. He helped with dishes, sweeping and even snuck a nap or two on a flour sack in the back. He went on to Texas Tech University to gain a degree in finance. However, in 1994 he felt called to come back to the family business. He now says he works with a sweeter type of dough.
For a while, Slaton Bakery remained a “West Texas Best Kept Secret,” but their popularity grew as more people discovered the bakery’s tasty cookies, cakes, pies, pies and pastries. Chad realized people were driving several hours to order baked goods, and this started the journey to place the delectable treats in retail locations across the state.
Slaton Bakery’s popular Vanilla Wafers and Gingersnaps are now carried by H-E-B, Central Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street, and other retailers.
We sat down with former Slaton resident, Dolores Mosser, to discuss her Slaton memories and recap of the 100th Anniversary Celebration. “My husband, Steve, is a Slaton native and remembers the elder Wilson’s shop on Division Street and trips to the Bakery on Sunday after Mass. Purchasing enough donuts for seven hungry kids made for a good sale! Our time living in Slaton from 1985 to 2004 saw many stops at the Bakery before and after school much to the delight of our kids. On June 10, 2023, we were delighted to attend the Wilson Families celebration of being in business for 100 years. Free cookies, hot dogs and even a newly brewed bakery beer by Lubbock Two Dos Brewery was on tap. This sounded like a good reason to make the quick trip (15 miles) from our home in Lubbock.
The 100th Anniversary party was very exciting with crowds of people visiting with Sherrel and Robin Wilson the current second-generation owners and their son Chad. Chad has been the director of expanding their sweet products with opening a commercial cookie factory nearby. The downtown store on the Square was busy with shoppers.
The Wilson’s guest book lists shoppers from around the world and for the celebration they had cards available to express good wishes and share memories. Ours was the occasion of our daughter’s wedding. After the wedding a friend commented that it was too bad about the wedding cake. I asked, “What about our beautiful wedding cake?” It seems that I was not informed the cake table collapsed and the Wilsons were called and told that the cake was destroyed in the fall. They rushed back to Slaton and built a new cake! We never knew that anything happened. The Wilson’s were our heroes and saved the day.
We thoroughly enjoyed the 100th Anniversary festivities, and a good time was had by all. I finished my last thumbprint cookie the next day after church, so it will be time for another quick trip to Slaton sooner than later.
Slaton Bakery is more than just a place to indulge in delightful treats; it’s a living testament to the power of tradition and the enduring spirit of community. Whether you’re a local looking for a taste of nostalgia or a traveler seeking an authentic Texas experience, a visit to Slaton Bakery promises to be a delightful journey back in time, filled with mouthwatering delights and warm, friendly smiles.