Thursday, January 22, 2015

Archway Bakery in Northeast Nashville

Archway Cookies, on right, at corner of Meridian and Douglas - 1950's. North Edgefield Remembered Collection MNA

 One of the first things to check when researching a property are city directories.  Beginning in 1910 Nashville City Directories list properties by address as well as by occupant.  If there is no street number for a particular property then it indicates there is no building on the property.

It was in 1926, that street numbers 1224 and 1222, on Meridian Street first appear in a city directory.  The 1925 directory is missing but the buildings were likely being constructed that year and would not have have been listed.  

Edwin Young purchased lot 137 of the Benedict Land Co. sub of the Lindsley tract, fronting 86 feet on Meridian Street at the corner of Ligon Lane, now Douglas, in Feb. 1925.  By 1926, Young was living on part of the lot, at 1222 and operated a grocery, on the other part, at 1224 Meridian Street.  In 1934, Young requested a zoning variance to add a storage building to his store.  In 1939 Young once again requested a variance for an extension to his store building.  An historical architect would be able to determine if the existing building contains both the original structure from the mid 20's and the addition in 1939. 

In March of 1944 Edwin Young sold, to Wm. Boyers the southerly 50 feet of lot 137, designated as 1222 Meridian Street. Young kept the other 36 feet of lot 137 where his store building was located.  In 1942 Edwin Young changed the name of his stores (there were several location by then) from Young Grocery to Market Basket.  In 1949 the Meridian Street location was vacant.  From 1950 until 1954, Buford Holt Billiards were located in the building at 1224.  I did not locate a deed for the sale of 1224 Meridian by Edwin Young.

In 1955 Warstler-Egly Bakery was listed at the address of 1224. In the late 40's Myron Warstler and Omar Egly bought a franchise from Swanson Cookies, a company started by Harold and Ruth Swanson in 1939.  The partners started to grow and expand their business in the 50's.  Under an agreement with Swanson, Warstler-Egly baked and distributed cookies under the Swanson name   In 1954 Swanson Cookies was sued by Swanson foods and the baked goods were then sold under the brand, Archway Cookies.  It was about this time that Warstler-Egly opened a bakery, distribution center in Nashville at 1224 Meridian Street.  Over time the company other bakeries, including F&L and Merit were associated with the business, marketing continued the Archway brand.  

In 1965 the company was transferred from Archway Cookies Inc., successors of Warstler-Egly Bakery to F&L Bakery.  The mailing address for F&L was in care of Archway Cookies, Battle Creek, Michigan so F&L was in someway connected to Archway.  The next transfer was from Merit Bakery, also headquartered in Battle Creek Michigan, to Charles Head in 1978.   A 1970 charter filed with the Tennessee Secretary of State shows a merger of F&L Bakery into Merit Bakery. The charter states that all outstanding shares in the companies is owned by Archway Cookies, Inc.  In spite of name changes, the bakeries located at 1224 Meridian, were all under the Archway umbrella.

Charles Head sold the property in 1986 to Michael Evans.  Evans quit claimed the property to Pauline Evans in 1995.  

It will take more research to determine when Archway Bakery closed and the names and types of later business at 1224 Meridian.  In recent years Meridian Street Cafe was located there.  

Meridian Cafe, courtesy Metro Tax Assessor

In 2015 Mark Schottland plans to open a new business, Madeline, at 1224.  Madeline will be a combination laundromat, cafe and bar.  You can read more about Madeline at

Timeline for 1224 Meridian Street 

1925, Edwin Young purchased property at 1224 Meridian Street.
1926, 1224 Meridian Street first listed in Nashville City Directory
1926-1941, Edwin Young,  grocer
1942-1948, Market Basket, owned by Edwin Young
1949, vacant
1950-54, Buford Holt Billiards.
1955, Archway Bakery opened.
1978, property sold by Merit Bakery a subsidiary of Archway Cookies to Charles Head
1986, property sold by Charles Head to Michael Evans
1995, property quit claimed by Michael Evans to Pauline Evans