Master Baker, Wayne Ernst with 
Founder of Hopeloft, Melissa Helmbrecht


Century Bakery has been a staple of the Bridgeton community since the 1930s, when it originally opened on Bank Street. After a move to Cedar Street in the 1960s, Century settled into its location on Pearl Street in 1982 when Wayne Ernst and his wife Barb assumed leadership of the bakery. Wayne was a third generation baker, who had learned the art of baking and decorating from his father and went on to become the first Certified Master Baker in the country. 

In 2019 after over 35 years running the bakery, Wayne and Barbara Ernst began a formal partnership with Hopeloft to transform the bakery into a social enterprise - a business organized for a charitable purpose - to ensure that the legacy of Century would continue for many years to come as well as support those in need.

Today the bakery serves as a job training program to support local foster youth who are transitioning out of foster care, a demographic in great need of work experience if they are to thrive once they “age out” of the foster care system.

Century Bakery is committed to continuing the tradition of serving the community and preserving the original recipes and techniques, while training and supporting a new generation of kids in need.