Welcome to Bennison’s Bakery!
A North Shore Institution Since 1938
Bennison’s Bakery has been a North Shore institution since 1938, earning a reputation as a high quality full line bakery with emphasis on European style pastries, cookies, and custom decorated cakes.
Larry Bennison brought his bakin savvy to Evanston from Janesville, Wisconsin in 1938. His “Dairy State” roots led to high quality offerings in the bakery, made with cream, real butter, fresh buttermilk , and freshly cracked eggs. Guy Downer, who had worked for Standard Brands and sold coffee to Bennison's originally, purchased the bakery from the Bennison family in 1967 and took over operations, continuing on the traditions started by Larry Bennison and expanding the product line, while still maintaing the high quality that people had come to expect.
In 1975 Guy’s son Jory came aboard, learning the craft from his father and attending culinary school and classes to improve his skill, eventually achieving the rank of Certified Master Baker from the Retail Bakery Association. Jory then used this skill to not only increase the quality of the products Bennison's offers, but to also win the grand prize at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in Paris in 2005, establishing himself as one of the best bakers in the world.
Bennison’s Bakery is one of the few bakeries in the country to employ two Certified Master Bakers. Both Jory Downer and Efrain Tirado completed the training and testing required to obtain this certification, the highest level a baker can achieve. It ensures that both are at the top of their field, and that the products you get from Bennison’s will always be of the highest quality.
The Downer family is very proud of the high quality image that Larry left them with, and has maintained those same high standards. Guy and Jory still walk in flour covered shoes. They bake through the night assuring product freshness every day, a true sign that none of the old fashioned ways have been lost. We still make the same devil’s food cake with liquid buttermilk. Just the thought would make most bakers chuckle. Our pumpkin pie is still made with fresh eggs and whole milk, never from a mix. Yeast doughs are mixed and given long fermentation times to develop flavor and dough characteristics that cannot be obtained by using shortcuts.
We hope you will visit our bakery, and that our efforts justify your return again and again.