RILLING'S BUCKS COUNTY BAKERY ~ Three Generations of Master Bakers
Willy Rilling immigrated to the United States from Germany at age 18 in 1927.
Martha Schmid who would later meet and marry Willy in 1932 emigrated at age 16 in 1926. They taught them-selves to read and write English and saved their meager salaries diligently so that by 1936 when their daughter Martha was 6 months old, they leased and opened their first small bakery in the "Brewery town" neighborhood of Philadelphia at 26th and Girard Ave. near Fairmont Park.
In those days, before refrigeration was common and supermarkets were unknown, customers shopped several times a day at their local merchants. The store was open 6 1/2 days a week from 6 am till llpm (1/2 day on Sunday) and continually baked fresh all day. The last oven load of pastries emerged as the 9pm movie let out. The bakery prospered and in 1939 they relocated to a location at 6645 Castor Ave. in the far Northeast of Philadelphia an area, which was then rural.
The neighborhood grew and the bakery gained a fine reputation that brought customers from far and near. But the stress of running a highly hands on business day and night made the Rilling's sell this store and take a much needed hiatus in 1948. Six months later, well rested and missing the business that they devoted their life to, they opened their next bakery at 7328 Frankford Ave. in the Mayfair Section of Philadelphia were they stayed until 1952. Daughter Martha joined the business as a salesgirl after school hours at age 13. Her younger sister Lillian also helped out. Never a couple to be idle for long; they opened a new bakery at 11704 Bustleton Ave. in the Lumar Park section of Somerton in 1953 where they stayed until 1959.
In 1962 they opened their last store at 8756 Frankford Ave. when daughter Martha and son-in-law George Volz, joined the business. Martha Rilling retired from the bakery to help care for her grandchildren, including Carl Volz (born 1959), Michael Volz (born 1962), and Diane Volz Tino (born 1969).
George and Martha took full-time re-sponsibility for the bakery in 1976 but "Poppy" Rilling continued to help out until shortly before his death in 1983. In a family business like this, children start out young—helping wash pans, sweep floors, fold boxes and run errands at ages as young as 10 or 11. Carl, Michael, and Diane all learned responsibility early. In 1981, with the children growing into adulthood, the Volz family opened a second store in the Davisville Shopping Center in Warminster. Son Michael Volz owns and operates this location today.
His sister, Diane Volz Tino, has been the store manager since he took over completely in 1989. In 1984 the family em-barked on a great expan-sion, opening a 20,000 square foot building on Southampton Road in
Philadelphia and during the 1980's had as many as 7 retail stores at one time.
Sadly, they found that they could not op-erate this widespread system of baking at a central location and shipping baked goods, together with preparing other wholesale baked goods, in an efficient and profitable manner and in 1993 this location was sold to someone outside the original family. Michael, and his sister Diane, continues the long tradition that Willy and Martha started over 70 years ago. As grandchildren and children they learned lessons well and they strive to satisfy the many customers they have made through the years and they welcome new customers with the same dedication to quality and service.
Davisville Shopping Center - 868 East Street Road, Warminster Pa. 18974 - 215-357-3860