Staff Spotlight: Meet Michelle
Updated: Jun 18
Get to know Michelle Morgan-Koos. Sweet-a-holic and Manager of Century Bakery.
The story of a woman’s lifelong career at a celebrated hometown spot and her commitment to its lasting legacy.
Born and raised in Bridgeton, Michelle Morgan-Koos spent her childhood in the kitchen with her grandmothers, baking goodies and endeavoring to crack the code of their top-secret recipes. You don’t need to know it, they would say, slyly, after Michelle’s numbered attempts to decrypt their process, because I know it. But rather than struggle to translate each vague “a pinch of this” and “a dash of that,” Michelle soon began devising recipes of her own.
Her prowess with pins and pastry brushes led her to Century Bakery, an old-school retail bakery and Bridgeton classic for four generations, where she has perfected her speed with the spatula for the past 34 years. From prepping donuts to decorating cakes to managing product, Michelle has done it all; she has seen the bakery evolve from its hand-cutting and manual washing days to its new partnership with Hopeloft—but amidst the bakery’s myriad transformations, Michelle has remained devoted to the vision of Wayne Ernst, the late owner of Century Bakery and the first Master Baker in the US.
Michelle honors Wayne’s ideals through her commitment to upholding his beloved recipes, from their signature “fries” to their unrivaled buttercream filling (Michelle’s personal favorite!).
“The good stuff comes from Century Bakery,” says Michelle, proudly. “People move away and the first place they want to come back to is always Century Bakery.”
Like many Bridgeton natives, Century Bakery is Michelle’s home no matter where she lives. Even after she moved out of town in her early 20s, this Bridgeton born-and-bred “sweet-a-holic” with a penchant for baking would build a lifelong career at Century, putting her own flare on the very cakes her mother would buy for her as a child.
There is no greater feeling than bringing happiness to others, and Michelle has spent her lifetime dishing out handfuls of happiness in the form of sweet Century Bakery treats. To Michelle, the bakery means everything—as it does for the entire city of Bridgeton. It is a place where she has learned, taught, and grown—a place that leaves an impact on both the Century family and the community. With the help of dedicated staff members like Michelle, Century Bakery will continue to preserve and celebrate Wayne’s legacy for centuries to come.
As Hopeloft grows we're excited to have incredible people like Michelle join our family. Her dedication to her craft and the Bakery is an inspiration to us all!