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ALTON - Easter is always a special time at Duke Bakery in Alton and Granite City. The business prepares many delights for Easter for those in the region and it is one of the busiest weeks of the year for the legendary hometown business.

The Alton location is at 819 Henry St. and the Granite City location is at 3202 Nameoki Road. Duke Bakery's selection for special days like Easter, Mother's Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving are renowned around the area and such a tradition for a vast amount of families.

Duke Bakery specializes in a full line of retail bakery products from wedding cakes, speciality cakes, donuts, pastries, pies, breads, buns and cookies.

Amy Hollis and her husband, Ben, run the day-to-day operation of Duke Bakery. Amy said Easter is traditionally one of the biggest of three holidays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Easter is always a big day for Duke Bakery.

Bunny Petit Fours“I love all the spring pastel colors for Easter,” Amy said. “Our little bunny petit four cakes, decorated cookies and cakes and anything for centerpiece items for tables are popular at Easter. Hot crossed buns are also a big Easter tradition with lamb cakes and chocolate eggs.”

Amy said this week is always a very busy week for Duke Bakery. “This week and the week before, our phone rings constantly. We had to add a second line last year during this time. We try to have the best possible customer service. We recognize many people when they come in the door and know what they want before they order it.”

The Duke Bakery story started in 1951. The business was started by Kris and Helen Doucleff. Mike, Amy’s dad, still is a part of the business but is mostly retired.

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The Granite City store location has been highly successful, Amy said.

The Duke employees wear masks and she said she misses seeing the customers’ faces because she feels her family traditions put smiles on faces.

“Being a part of easter baskets and Easter tables are very important to us,” she said.

Amy started in 1996 at Duke Bakery after college graduation and her husband, joined as her partner as primarily, a baker.

She said having the business is a huge responsibility, but something she thrives on doing with her husband.

“It is very nice seeing my husband every day at work,” she said. “We are very close. He is my best friend for sure.”

She said Duke Bakery takes Easter orders all week and pickup takes place through Saturday. For more, call Duke Bakery at (618) 462-2922 or (618) 877-9500.

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