OGDEN, Utah — A beloved bakery is rebuilding after a fire destroyed the building more than a year ago.
End of August 2021 The Topper bakery was destroyed by fire.
“I was like, ‘no,'” said Valeen DeRyke, owner of the bakery. “I was devastated.”
Vale’s son, Lance, went through the damage the next day.
“This place here looked like a war zone,” he said.
The fire was another blow to this family. In 2020, Valeena’s husband and Lance’s father, Dave, passed away.
“I’m going, ‘What else? What else can hit me now,” Valeen recalled. “How are we going to survive this? How is this going to turn out?”
Despite the challenges of losing a loved one and a devastating fire, Lance and Valeen decided that the bakery needed to be rebuilt in the same location that had served the Ogden community since Lance’s grandfather started the business in 1939.
The fire could not destroy the 83-year bond between the bakery and the Ogden community.
“So many people look forward to this bakery on different holidays,” Valeen said.
This summer, construction crews hammered the first nails in the renovation.
The local community is delighted.
“Hooray! Excited to have you back,” wrote one customer on social media.
Another wrote: “We are so excited about your renovation and more excited about your pita bread and pastries.”
These are just two of the hundreds of comments from customers who are excited to see this local business rise from the ashes.
“Oh my gosh. They love us. They want us,” said Valeen, who has lived in Ogden all her life. “It means a lot to know that my community and hometown is 100 percent behind us.”
DeRyke hopes to have construction completed by the end of winter with a possible spring 2023 reopening.
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