Bel Air Bakery hangs up the apron


Will Bolton

This sign hangs in the back of the Bel Air Bakery as a notice to their customers about their decision to close. The Bel Air Bakery will close on Christmas Eve.

After 60 years, the Bel Air Bakery, which the Baltimore Sun called the best bakery in Harford County, is closing on Dec. 24. In a Facebook post, the Hamilton family who owns the bakery explained their decision to close operations and hang up the apron.

“We apologize to those of you who are saddened by our closing, and we want you to know that this was the toughest decision we have ever made, and we realize that it may be difficult for you to understand, but we had to do what’s best for our family,” the post read.

“When [my son] Jimmy had a stroke five years ago, we had to come out of retirement to run the business,” Rose Hamilton said.

Both Rose Hamilton and her husband, Jim Hamilton, are 80 years old. Jim wakes up at 2 a.m. to put on his apron and begin making the pastries for the day.

“The thing that we will miss most of all is the people. Having a business for 60 years, we have met great people and we will miss seeing their faces,” Rose Hamilton said.

One person that is a frequent customer is calculus teacher George Appleby. He goes to the bakery every day except for Mondays, when they’re closed. He pulls up, and they “already have my coffee waiting,” Appleby said.

I am a regular customer at the Bel Air Bakery. That store has been there for many years and is part of the history of the town of Bel Air. I will miss the people most of all. There is a saying ‘All good things must come to an end.’ In this case, the saying is very true,” Appleby said.  

The closing has sparked a new rush of customers. “We sold out of doughnuts one morning by 10 a.m. We make hundreds of doughnuts, so it has been very busy since the announcement,” Rose Hamilton said.    

After the announcement was made, Nov. 29, they were sold out of doughnuts by 12 p.m. They are usually open until 4:30 p.m. on Sundays.

The bakery has attracted many customers over the years and will be missed by many people.

Senior Quinten Petro was there on that Sunday, Nov. 29. “I wished I got there earlier because they are the best doughnuts I’ve ever had,” Petro said.

According to Rose Hamilton, after the bakery closes, she and Jim plan to “do nothing but spend time with family and not have to wake up so early.”  

For 60 years the Bel Air Bakery has made pastries and they are closing on Christmas Eve, so get your better get your fill of pastries before they run out.

Mike Moxley is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and