In the small neighborhood of North College Hill is one of Cincinnati’s oldest family bakeries, successful amidst a world of retail bakers and Walmarts. Founded in 1933 by Carl and Anna Litschgi, they’ve been known for their German pastries and wonderful breads for nearly that entire time. The cute little baker on the big sign and the art deco frontage blazon to passersby on Galbraith Road. But now they have a reach far outside the neighborhood as they’ve become the baker to all the Cincinnati Goetta makers – that is, the family meat markets all over town.
My family has quite the connection to the Litschgi family. My grandparents built their between wars 2 bedroom cottage on Betts Avenue around the corner, only a few years in the late 20s before the bakery opened. Grandma would walk the few blocks to get her weekly bread and Sunday pastries from the bakery. Carl Litschgi’s parents Frank and Frances were Baden immigrants and Frank worked as a gilter at the Nurre Frame Factory downtown with my great grandfather Theo and his brother Otto. Living on Colerain Avenue, the Litschgi’s and the Woellerts commuted from Northside on the CH & D to their factory jobs. My great grandparents lived on Beekman Street, near the Litschgi’s so their kids went to Garfield Elementary together, and even worked in their early teens at the shoe factories in Northside together. As Northsiders moved up the hill to NCH, so did the Litschgi’s and my family, becoming members of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church. Carl somehow found baking and utilized his iconic talent.
So, it’s no small wonder that the NCH Bakery has been a staple of my family for many decades. I am a fan of their wonderfully hand rolled cinnamon bread, which they have been making for nearly 50 years. It’s epic paired with goetta and a sunny side egg for Sunday morning breakfast, or just heated with a cup of steaming black coffee. Their over a dozen varieties of fresh rye and Vienna breads sell out early on a busy Saturday morning if you don’t get there early enough.
NCH’s carousel of spectacular breads – legendary cinnamon bread at the top.
One of the ways NCH Bakery has been able to keep up with the competitive times, is being THE supplier of baked goods to the local meat markets. They even buy pinhead oats in bulk for their breads and baked goods, so they can offer a good price to the meat markets for their goetta. Keeping down our cost of local goetta, and being able to get their cinnamon bread in a variety of places all over town is a godsend.
They reach as far as Butcher Bill’s in Mason, where I saw a pecan ring and some pastries at their counter. Their largest buyer of pinhead oats, though is Stehlin’s Meat Market on Colerain Avenue, who carries their breads and pastries, and private labels their pinhead oats for the home goetta makers. You can also see their baked goods at Eckerlin’s in Findlay Market, Langen Meats in Delhi , Humbert’s Meats, Hammann’s Meats in Pleasant Run, and Wassler’s Meats on Harrison Avenue. among many others.
Carl and Anna sold the business to their daughter Charlene and husband Gary Weitzel, who operated it for nearly 50 years until selling in 2018 to Matthew and Terry Patrick.
A little known fact is that from 1952-1957 the Litschgis leased the bakery to Matt and Ivan Perkins, who went on the found Perkins Pancake House in Silverton in 1958, that grew to become a 350 store half a billion dollar national chain.
I wish Matthew and Terry the best in their new ownership, and in keeping local goetta prices down with their bulk pinhead oats!