The East Side German tradition of Buffalo’s best coffee cake

       By Steve Cichon
       steve@buffalostories.com
       @stevebuffalo

Martin Gressmann came to Buffalo from Germany in 1893, and after two years as an apprentice, opened his own bakery at 1753 Genesee St., a couple blocks west of Bailey.

Mrs. Catherine Daly, Mrs. Anna Roetzer, Mrs. Mary Mahoney and Mrs. Teresa Bartrem – all daughters of Martin Gressmann –working to prepare the family bakery’s famous specialty caramel cake.

His business grew through his involvement in the surrounding tight-knit East Side German community. He was a member of civic and social groups like Maennerchor Bavaria and the Schuhplattler Verein and St. Gerard’s Roman Catholic Church.

He’d been a baker for more than 50 years when he died in 1946, and his daughters took over the shop.

Long after Gressmann’s death, people came from all over Western New York for what one Williamsville restaurant owner called Buffalo’s best coffee cake.

The pastry with the caramel topping originated in the shop remained in demand well into the 1970s.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.