Back In The Day Bakery: Savannah, GA

Excerpted from Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Photo by Angie Mosier.

“Food brings people together,” says Griffith, who learned to bake as a boy from his mother. “Both of our parents baked when we were growing up, and we really have great memories of that. We both saw how baked goods made everyone else happy.” Cheryl tells her front of house staff that they don’t just sell baked goods. They sell happiness.

While people come for the classics, Cheryl and Griffith make a conscious effort to keep the menu fresh. After two cookbooks—The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook (Artisan Books, 2012) and Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love (Artisan Books, 2015)—they want to make sure customers can come in the bakery and find food they’ve never tried before or wouldn’t make themselves. There’s always upbeat music playing; Cheryl blasts Beyoncé every morning. A lot of dancing goes on in the kitchen, too. Frankly, Cheryl and Griffith have a lot to celebrate. A few years ago, their first cookbook camped out on The New York Times bestsellers list and won awards across the industry. In 2015, they were semi-finalists for the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Baker. Despite their accolades and success, Cheryl and Griffith are most proud of their authenticity. They’ve stayed true to themselves and their roots as home bakers.

Excerpted from Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Photo by Angie Mosier.

Even though neither Cheryl nor Griffith is actually from the South—he is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and she is a Los Angeles native—they’ve come to understand the soul of Southern cooking. The two met through mutual friends while attending college in the Midwest. After college, they went their separate ways, then reconnected more than a decade later in Savannah. In 2001, both were ready for career changes. Cheryl had worked as a personal shopper for her sister’s professional shopping service, and Griffith had worked as a professional musician and then in graphic design and video editing. They spent a year planning on a shoestring budget, combined their recipe boxes filled with treasured heirloom recipes, and opened Back in the Day. The bakery has been deeply interwoven in Cheryl and Griffith’s lives since. They even tied the knot in front of the pastry display case in a spontaneous wedding ceremony in 2005.

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  1. Love, love your website. Can hardly wait to get to Savannah and visit your bakery. 🙂 Actually, I have a major question…hah!
    My husbands grandmother (from very rural Georgia) us to make him tea cakes for a afternoon snack when he returned from school. He does not remember what or how they were made. Over the years I’ve tried different recipe to no avail. You would happen to have a recipe like that, would you? If so, and you would send it , I would reward you with a lot of “old fashioned” grandma hugs. 🙂 Good luck with your bakery. Ya’ll look like you are really enjoying yourself.
    Have a wonderful Day, Suzanne


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