Hill Top Bakery and Peerless Ovens – Time Proven Success
When it comes to things that last, Hilltop Bakery and Peerless Ovens have a lot in common. Rachelle Helmuth, outgoing owner of Hilltop Bakery in Bailey, Michigan, has seen firsthand the quality of Peerless Ovens while operating her family’s bakery the past 7 years. Hilltop Bakery has been around for 87 years in total, and Helmuth is the 5th generation to take a turn running the business, during which time she has seen a lot of things change – but her ovens aren’t one of those changes.
“(The Peerless 2324B) has been there my whole life. I’m not quite sure the entire history but I’m guessing my grandpa bought them somewhere. They have definitely been the best ovens that we have ever used,” Helmuth said. It turns out they have two Peerless Oven 2324B models, one from 1932 and one from 1974, both of which are still in perfect working order. In fact, in the 7 years Rachelle has owned the business, she said she only ever needed to replace one part.
Rachelle acknowledged that there was an additional non-Peerless oven in the bakery, but expressed frustration at finding parts to repair it, as opposed to her great experience with Peerless. “The (pilot ignition) went out and so I called Peerless and talked to the parts department,” she recounted. “I told them I have this old oven, I don’t know the model number, the part number, nothing. But I need this part.” She said that the parts department asked her to send photos of the part and the oven, which she did, and she was able to find what she needed. “They sent me the part, I installed it, and it worked great, she said. “That’s the only maintenance on either oven in the time I’ve owned them.”
Helmuth also remembered wanting to switch from propane to natural gas when she first took over the business, and that Peerless made it simple. “I called Peerless up and said ‘I need a conversion kit from propane to natural gas,’ and they sold me the part, the service company I hired set it up and it worked perfectly.”
Hilltop Bakery is known for their delicious breads and cinnamon rolls, but Rachelle says that her Peerless Ovens can be used for so much more. “You can do so much more than pizza in these ovens,” she explained. “I’ve done cookies in these ovens, I’ve done cupcakes, my bread, cinnamon rolls, pastries – the ovens have a lot you can do with them.” Rachelle went on to say that she had even experimented with cooking pizza in her oven too, but as they didn’t deliver it turned out not be a worthwhile venture. “People loved our pizza, though.”
Though Rachelle is leaving the business, she made sure to tell the new owners all about her positive experience with Peerless Ovens. “When we did a walkthrough with the new owners, they asked which of the ovens could still get replacement parts,” she explained. She said her advice was simply that “The Peerless company is still in business in Ohio, and if you call them up and send pictures, they can tell you what you need.”
Though Rachelle is moving into a new chapter of her life, it sounds as if she will miss baking. “It’s almost like an art, and what I love about Peerless is that once you know what you’re doing with your oven you can do anything,” she said. “You have to watch your product, but it’s so much fun to get to know the oven. It is the same every day and that’s nice to know that I can put something in there and know that in 15 minutes I’m going to turn it, and another 15 minutes later it will be done.”
When it comes down to choosing an oven for your bakery, pizzeria, or restaurant, consider Rachelle’s outlook. “I like the Peerless Ovens because they keep the heat and bake a good product. Plus, I love that I can still get the parts, and when I call I get someone on the phone right away, not a computer.”
If you or someone you know is in the market for a time-proven, affordable, space-saving gas or electric oven, look no further than Peerless Ovens. Visit us at www.peerlessovens.com today to view all of our oven models, order replacement parts, read more testimonials like this one, and request a free quote!
1544 N Newaygo Rd
Bailey, MI 49303