DAYTON — As businesses struggle in a rough economy, the century-old Smales Pretzel Bakery thrives inside a refitted house on an alley, its fourth generation still twisting pretzels by hand.
The bakery began with German-born Rudie Schaaf opening Gem City Pretzel on Warren Street in 1906, not long after he arrived in Dayton as a boy in 1895. The shop’s current location at 210 Xenia Ave. dates to 1926 when his daughter, Emma, moved it there and renamed it.
Smale’s history twists into the city’s at every turn. A stand operated in the old downtown Arcade for years. Armloads of pretzels were ferried to neighborhood groceries and found their way into the hands of generations of school kids. Larry Smales, Schaaf’s great-grandson, recalls that as a boy he sold pretzels to legions of NCR employees on their lunch breaks.
Another great reason to live on the Hill!