The bakery world experienced many big events in 2017. We saw new trends unfold that shaped the industry, major names in baking undergo significant changes, and the creation of a new holiday that will be celebrated by thousands of people every year.

One of the most groundbreaking developments for retail bakeries was the first-ever National Bakery Day, which took place on Thursday, September 28. The idea for this holiday first came about when John Lupo of Grandma’s Bakery in Minnesota was thinking of a way to celebrate the independent retail baking community. Thanks to the Retail Bakers of America, this idea came to fruition, and bakeries across the country rolled out the red carpet for the big day.

Independent retail bakeries were not the only ones to make big headlines. Names like Starbucks and Bruegger’s Bagels were also on the forefront of discussions. During the summer, JAB Beech announced another big acquisition to its growing bakery and coffee portfolio. The holding company, which boasts Caribou Coffee, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and Panera bread among its acquisitions, revealed that it has also added the Bruegger’s Bagels chain to the list.

Meanwhile, Starbucks made a big splash in November by announcing that it had opened its first Princi bakery and café location in the United States at its Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle.

These stories were just a few that our readers found to be noteworthy over the past year. See these and more in our list of the top stories of 2017.

National Bakery Day

Until 2017, there had never been a National Bakery Day, celebrating the independent retail bakery and its vital role to the lifeblood of local communities across the country. That all changed on September 28, when the exciting and successful first edition took place nationwide. Retail bakeries celebrated with their customers with specials, giveaways, demonstrations, and much more.

Sweetest Bakery in America Contest

The Sweetest Bakery in America contest, a first-time event sponsored by Dawn Foods, took place over the summer. After receiving nearly 100,000 votes, Lochel’s Bakery in Hatboro, Pennsylvania was named the winner.

Pie Bar Popularity in America

The popularity of pie is without question, and that is reflected in the upswing of locations catering specifically to pie enthusiasts throughout the U.S.

Massachusetts Bakery Fights with FDA over Love

Nashoba Brook Bakery in Concord, Massachusetts got into a fight with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over love. More specifically, the issue was with the bakery’s inclusion of the word ‘love’ on the list of ingredients on the label of its homemade granola. 

Ruby Chocolate Revealed

Barry Callebaut, a leading manufacturer in high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, has introduced a new chocolate that looks to join dark, milk, and white chocolate in the pantheon of chocolate types. The chocolate has a pinkish hue, which along with its fruity flavor, comes from the Ruby cocoa bean.

JAB Holding Company Acquires Bruegger's Bagels

JAB Beech, the holding company of leading coffee and bakery brands including Peet’s Coffee, Caribou Coffee, Einstein Bagels, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and Panera Bread, announced over the summer that it had acquired the Bruegger’s Bagels chain from Le Duff America through one of its subsidiaries, Caribou Coffee. 

Bakeries Benefit from Solar Eclipse

America’s first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in nearly 100 years occurred on Monday, August 21. Millions enjoyed the breathtaking natural event, and many celebrated with special treats from their local bakeries.

Starbucks Goes Artisan with Princi Bakery

Starbucks opened the first Princi bakery and café location in the United States at its Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle, in a move that allows Starbucks to bake at store level for the first time ever. 

The Rise of Cookie Dough Bakeries

Cookie dough has long been a guilty pleasure for many, and in 2017 that translated to a new kind of bakery popping up in cities across the country.

The Power of the Pop-Up

Iconic Southern California retailer Porto’s Bakery & Café recently joined the growing movement of independent retail bakeries that are leveraging the promotional power of pop-up shops.