"HOW OUR HEARTS WERE STOLLEN: A Partial History of St. Louis Bakeries" is a Local Interest book that gives a picture of
St. Louis and its independent bakeries from the early 1900's to the present. There were two important main themes of this book. The author attempted a search to find out the answers to two important questions.
One, "Were the relationships among the bakers of St. Louis as close-knit and cooperative as they had been rumored to be ?" When this question was proposed to the bakers themselves in the 25 In-Person Interviews, the answer to this question was emphatically, "Yes, absolutely !" The author discovered that there were structures that supported and encouraged this closeness among the bakers. And so, this was revealed in the author's search of 50 Years of Monthly Bulletins from the St. Louis Master Bakers Association. The author discovered that the bakers often socialized with one another in many activities sponsored by the Bakers Association, activities such as the Bakers Men's Singing Society as well as the Bakers Women's Singing Society. As a result of many activities like the Christmas parties for their families, dances, and annual get-away trips to the Lake of the Ozarks, the bakers would often work in one another's stores, share supplies, inter-marry, and even become godparents for one another's children. They even shared their recipes with one another and maintained friendly relationships with one another that were not competitive. All of these things were confirmed by the bakers in the 25 In-Person Interviews.
There was a second question that was posed to the bakers, "What were the causes that resulted in the downfall of the Independent Bakeries during the mid-1900's ?" The bakers themselves seemed to have very ready answers to this question. Some of their answers suggested the introduction of boxed cake mixes, ready-made brown and serve rolls, and the entrance of supermarkets with their own in-store bakeries.