The Online Newspaper of Lakewood High School

Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

The Blackbird Baking Company


When it comes to local bakeries, all Lakewood residents know that the Blackbird Baking Company is simply one of the best our town has to offer. From croissants, to scones, to cookies, to breads, and an assortment of beverages, the Blackbird Bakery truly has it all. Every aspect of this local business is filled with detail and intention that only makes this bakery even more special. This exposé will better tell the story of this loved bakery and reveal what goes into its own recipe for success. From the inspiration for the bakery itself, to the individual bakers, to the menu items created, there is so much to learn about Lakewood’s favorite bakery. 

Before we dive further into all that the Blackbird Baking Company has to offer, let’s cover the history and learn who is behind the success. Owners and head baker Adria and Tom Clark are the business’s proprietors. Tom, the head baker, grew up in Lakewood. After attending college, he moved to Portland, Oregon where he first began working in bakeries. Here, he met his future wife, Adria Clark, who grew up in Portland herself. After marrying and having children of their own, the Clark family returned to Ohio to carry out their original dream of opening their own bakery. Tom now works as the head baker while Adria handles the business side of the operation stating “I only bake at home, but Tom has been working in professional bakeries since 1997.” This tag team duo, through hard work and dedication, has now achieved their dream of running their own bakery.   

So how did the business begin? Once the Clarks had decided to carry out their dream they, alongside Tom’s family who helped in the construction and financing of the bakery, were tasked with naming it. When asked the significance behind the name choice, Adria replied “We, of course, thought about the name for a long time: we chose Blackbird for a few reasons.  There is the nursery rhyme about ’24 blackbirds baked in a pie’ which is charmingly about baking (even though we don’t make pie). We are very close to the Metropark entrance, and there are many blackbirds in the park. We liked the alliteration of the 3 Bs. And something about the name inspired me to come up with our logo, which I drew.” As seen, the name of the bakery wasn’t chosen lightly, but rather to represent something larger. Similarly, the inspiration for the baked goods also came from extensive thinking. Clark shares that the inspiration for many of the items spurred from things she enjoyed herself, items from places she and her husband had worked, and family recipes. 

It’s only fair to ask next: what makes the Blackbird Bakery’s recipes so good? The answer to this is testing and testing and testing. Tom, with an education in various baking institutes and experience since 1997, spent months testing, revising, and formulating his own recipes until he achieved a quality he was satisfied with. Once a recipe is settled upon, it is used in-store to produce the goods so many people love. Although, that’s not to say the recipes never change. Adria shares “We have to revise formulas from time to time as well, when ingredient availability changes or a batch of flour or butter is behaving differently than expected.  And every time we come up with a new product it goes through many trials before we decide to make it available to buy, and many products never make it out of the testing phase if we can’t achieve the results or consistency of outcome that we want.” As seen here, it’s clear that the Blackbird Bakery holds itself to a higher standard. This level of attention to detail is what sets it apart from so many other neighboring bakeries.

The Blackbird Baking Company is a staple in Lakewood and will remain as so. With owners as dedicated to high quality as Tom and Adria are, there is no doubt that the bakery will continue to thrive. With no plans of expanding the business to additional locations, the Clarks will be able to continue holding such a high standard of quality and service to their many Lakewood customers who cherish all that the Blackbird Baking Company has to offer.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Samantha Hudak, Student Reporter
2023 senior! Student reporter.

Comments (0)

All Lakewood Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *