When Aunt Millie's closes out its bakery operations in downtown Fort Wayne early next year, its 91 local production workers and the wonderful aroma of baking bread will be sorely missed.
But 120 administrative jobs will remain, along with the landmark sign that has marked the Pearl Street headquarters since 1957.
Melissa Dunning, director of marketing at Aunt Millie's, confirmed the company's plan to keep the sign.
“Oh, goodness, yes. It's part of our history,” Dunning said Tuesday.
The mechanical sign continuously spills pieces of bread from its bright yellow Sunbeam wrapper. Nine rotating slices each take 2.3 seconds to fall. Installed in 1957 by L.C. Stroup Sign Co., the sign was refurbished for its 50th anniversary with UV-resistant images on composite panels of aluminum and plastic, designed to withstand harsh weather.
The vintage sign once included a figure of Little Miss Sunbeam, but it blew off on windy days and was eventually removed.
While the company will no longer bake products here, its corporate offices will continue to anchor Pearl Street. Just look for the falling bread.