One of the features of the Brookside/Waldo area neighbors appreciate so much are the locally owned, ‘mom and pop’ shops and eateries. McLain’s Bakery is that type of place: it’s been serving up delicious baked treats since 1945! And although the Hirlemans are just the third owners, Mollie Lothman and her brother Jeff Hirleman remember going to McLain’s as kids for their moms favorite cookie. As adults, Mollie wanted to open a bakery; Jeff wanted to open a coffee shop—so the family decided to buy the place when it came on the market back in 2014.
If you grew up going to McLain’s (the original location was on Wornall, just north of 75th St), know that the original butter roll dough recipe is still used for the pastries (cinnamon roll, Danish, twist, etc.) However, the siblings wanted to update and expand the bakery’s offerings for today’s customers. They added new cookies (including a gluten free double chocolate chip flavor), muffins, and more coffee options. Moving to the current spot at 201 E Gregory also gave them more space to add seating, hot breakfast sandwiches and light lunch options. They make all items fresh every day—including bread for the sandwiches and even the salad dressings! And just like the original McLain’s, custom cakes are a big seller—about 70-100 are created every weekend.
McLain’s is one of those places where the employees are sincerely friendly and service oriented. Mollie says “We promote our employees from within when we can. Our two head bakers didn’t even know how to bake when they started working here! Tips are shared with everyone. We have over 100 employees now with our three locations.” (McLain’s Market is now open in Lawrence and Overland Park.) Like the original owners from way back when, Mollie and her staff love seeing people of all ages coming into the shop and watching the kids get older, knowing they are providing special treats for a regular Saturday morning visit or special occasions. McLain’s is here to “make life’s moments sweeter”, which is part of their mission statement.
So…are you craving a treat from McLain’s after reading this blog?!? Stop in soon to the Waldo location at 201 E Gregory. They are open seven days a week!