A HISTORY OF THE ROUGE PARK BAKERY
WEST WARREN AVE. AT STAHELIN, WARRENDALE
Rouge Park Bakery was my home—established by my parents, Frank and Frances Iglikowski, just before I entered first grade at Ss. Peter & Paul in the Warrendale area of West Detroit.
Frank Iglikowski was born in the United States in 1910, making him a U.S. citizen. As was the case in many families, his parents came to the U.S. to work and then planned to return to Poland. Frank went to Poland with his mother at a very young age and remained there until he was an adult. When he neared his 21st birthday, he needed to decide whether to serve in the Polish Army and give up his citizenship or take up residency in the U.S. He chose to come here. Through his uncle Michael Pawlak (whose daughter was married to a baker, Stefan Barski), Frank learned the baking trade. Mr. Barski was owner of Supreme Bakery on Proctor near McGraw in Detroit.
Frank married Frances Koziak in 1935. They opened a bakery on Michigan and Central where they had living space upstairs. These were Depression years and times were very hard. When they decided to buy and build a place of their own, they built Rouge Park Bakery (1939 – 40). It was business and home. We lived upstairs and worked downstairs. They worked hard and we as children helped when we were able—myself and my two sisters.
My oldest children have fond memories of going to Babcia and Dziadzia’s when they lived above the bakery. They recall it being an interesting place to explore the large back room, with the large oven built into the wall and huge wooden tables for rolling out dough. Of course, they always had access to cookies, sugar sticks, etc.
Frank and Frances sold Rouge Park Bakery in 1966. After many years of hard work, they finally had the time to return to Poland for an extended visit with family and old friends.
The above history and photos were provided by Ms. Genevieve Iglikowski-Ostrowski, daughter of Frank and Frances Iglikowski, founders and proprietors of the Rouge Park Bakery. The WSDPAHS is grateful for this valuable contribution to the Society’s archives and for allowing us permission to print it.