David Burke's Dixie Lee Bakery Sign

You’ll soon be able to take a baking class at the iconic bakery, or book a children’s birthday party that includes baking as an activity.

Monmouth County celebrity chef David Burke has officially taken over ownership of Keansburg’s Dixie Lee bakery, and he has big plans on the horizon for the beloved small-town bakery:

Burke plans to add a retail coffee business with counter service, selling to-go gourmet coffee.

He will also soon start selling to-go breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads and other items. Future plans are in the works to hold baking classes at the bakery — the public can sign up and pay to take a baking class; no telling if they will gain access to Dixie Lee’s secret recipes.

The public can also book social celebrations like birthdays there that will include baking as a fun and educational activity. Doesn’t baking a bunch of cupcakes or other pastries sound like a fun idea for a little kid’s birthday party?

Burke grew up in Hazlet and now lives in Atlantic Highlands. He’s in the midst of running a New Jersey restaurant empire, owning seven restaurants across the Garden State and 15 total worldwide. As previously reported, Burke will use Dixie Lee to provide baked goods wholesale to his seven other restaurants in New Jersey.

“I live in the area and I have witnessed an increased interest, both residential and commercial, and I have great faith that the Bayshore and the Rt. 36 corridor is finally coming of age” said Burke. “This is a very exciting time for me in my professional career, for my team and the Bayshore region!”

Burke purchased the Bayshore’s legendary bakery in May. Previous owners Mark Onulak and Allison Loori have stayed on as managing partners and all of Dixie Lee’s existing 13 employees have all been kept on.

At a special ribbon cutting planned for next Thursday at the bakery, distinguished guests will be family descendants of Justine and Joseph Slovenz, who founded the bakery in 1933. According to the Slovenz family, Joseph named the bakery after Bing Crosby’s first wife, Dixie Lee, a popular actress, singer and dancer of the day.

Owning a bakery has been a lifelong dream for Burke, who is a trained pastry chef and alumnus of the prestigious École Lenôtre Pastry School in Plaisir, France. This is the first time running a bakery.

Next Thursday’s ceremony will include brief speeches by Chef Burke and Keansburg’s Mayor, George Hoff. 

“The old school bakery has a great tradition within the community,” said Burke. “My grandfather took my mother there when she was a little girl to buy pastries. We will continue to honor the bakery’s rich past while making gradual improvements to the bakery.”

Currently, David Burke’s Dixie Lee Bakery will keep its regular hours of operation. It is open Thursday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

CLICK HERE to read on Patch.com.

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