The Secret Ingredient to Lovin’ Oven’s Success

wedding cake
Photo courtesy Suzanne Maxwell

Readers Vote The Lovin’ Oven Best Dessert & Best Bakery For 10th Consecutive Year

Like Hank Williams Jr., Suzanne Maxwell knows a thing or two about family traditions. It shows with all the love she puts in her creations.

After all, her business isn’t called The Lovin’ Oven for nothing. And folks definitely love it as once again they have been honored in the Focus Daily News Readers Choice Awards. For a 10th consecutive year readers voted The Lovin’ Oven, located at 181 Historic Town Square in Lancaster, as Best Dessert and Best Bakery.

While Maxwell hasn’t been the owner for the entirety of the 46 years The Lovin’ Oven has been in business, she has been a part of the bakery that delivers the magical goodies for a long time. In continuing the success that made it popular for miles around, she applies one simple ingredient – well, two – love and happiness.

Keeping Things In The Family

“We specialize in making people happy with quality products,” Maxwell said simply.

And, after all, isn’t that a bakery should be all about? Who can be sad after eating a yummy pastry, for example?

Maxwell grew up around the wondrous smells of baking. From the time she was little she can remember being in the kitchen helping her mother whip up mouth watering creations.

“My mom taught me how to cook and bake so I come by it naturally,” she said humbly.
And now she’s keeping things in the family even today.

“My husband Ed is my biggest helper. He helps me deliver wedding cakes, and picks up supplies for us,” she said.

The Lovin’ Oven creates goodies for all occasions, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or just a good ol’ treat to brighten up a day. They cater weddings, including memorable and delicious cakes for grooms and brides.

four tier wedding cake with flowers
Photo courtesy Suzanne Maxwell

Cookies, Cakes, Lemon Bars and More

And don’t forget those pastries. If you want gourmet cookies, you can find them at The Lovin’ Oven. Pies? Ditto. Brownies, lemon bars, cream cheese bars, multi-layer Hello Dolly bars, white chocolate lemon bars, they’re all there.

“We do cheesecakes old fashioned New York style. All these are made from scratch everyday,” Maxwell said. “We have many favorites. We sell cakes by the slice, white butter cream, Italian cream, lemon lavender, chocolate, strawberry, lemon.”

The Lovin’ Oven also specializes in items such as cookies for different seasons.

“The fall always brings us lots of new things to the bakery for adults and kids alike. With the holidays coming, we love the special things we do, decorated butter cookies and pies, and black forest cakes and white forest cakes.”

Judy Houchens originally opened the Lovin’ Oven bakery. She then sold it a few years later to Oran and Wanda Coffey, for whom Maxwell went to work. Seven years later she bought it.

“When I bought the bakery I slowly added a lot more things to our menu, including sandwiches all day long and breakfast sandwiches made with croissants or 21 grain wheat bread and a lot more seasonal things,” she said.

“My favorite part is the wedding and specialty cakes.”

Like all great chefs, Maxwell isn’t about to give away any secret recipes, but she did say it’s no secret what makes The Lovin’ Oven so popular.

“It’s comfort food. People need comfort food, especially during this pandemic,” she said. “It’s the way we are made up.”


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Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters