Dayton, Ohio native Allison Janney enjoys her favorite cookies from Ashley's Pastry Shop.
When Allison Janney won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress earlier this year for her performance in the movie “I, Tonya,” Greg and Theresa Hammons of Ashley’s Pastry Shop in Janney’s hometown of Dayton, Ohio, celebrated right along with her.

It turns out Janney is a longtime fan of the signature Sand Tart cookies sold at Ashley’s Pastry Shop, which the Hammons first opened in 1982. The couple named the bakery after their first daughter, Ashley, and both daughters, Ashley and Lyndsay, worked at the family bakery prior to embarking on their own careers.

“We opened our bakery 35 years ago,” says Theresa Hammons, owner. “My husband’s family owns Busken Bakery, and he worked there for many years learning so much from a successful retail bakery. I worked for a division of Procter and Gamble in marketing. We purchased our bakery from another successful Cincinnati bakery family, Servatii Pastry Shop. Our bakery is where you will open the door to the deliciousness of everything from donuts, Danishes, cakes, cookies, muffins, breads and so much more.”

The bakery is nestled in the Dayton suburb of Oakwood, a community that runs deep on tradition. The Wright Brothers mansion is less than a block from their steps. Countless inventors have called Oakwood home; people love that it is considered a “dome,” not a lot of changes.

“People love visiting our shop, where the aromas of fresh products are in the air, the cases are full of delicious treats and we strive to provide the best customer experience possible,” Hammons says. “Visiting our shop allows our customers to remember their past while sharing treats with their family and friends.”

"They are like a delicious snickerdoodle with a meringue on top. They remind me of my childhood," Janney says of the Sand Tarts.
One of the bakery’s signature products are Sand Tarts, “loved by everyone,” she adds. Years ago, three Daytonians, Janney, Rob Lowe and Martin Sheen, starred together on the hit television show “The West Wing.”

Hammons recalls sending them a taste of home, “our own Sand Tarts,” to share with the cast and crew.

“The reviews were excellent and ever since they have been Allison’s favorite cookies,” Hammons says. “From Hollywood, to New York plays and movies, they are her taste of Dayton to share. The excitement this year of her many awards from ‘I, Tonya’ has led to countless dozens of Sand Tarts being made and sold, not only in our shop, but shipped all over the country. They are a staple in her home, as well as a way to celebrate her many successes with her friends and colleagues.”

In a recent interview with, Janney said people originally thought that she’d baked these delicious treats. “I said, ‘No, they are from my favorite bakery in Dayton, Ohio.’ They are like a delicious snickerdoodle with a meringue on top. They are soft and moist and chewy and so good. My mother used to have them in the house when I was growing up. They remind me of my childhood.”

This is high praise for a hometown bakery like Ashley’s Pastry Shop. Theresa Hammons knows that owning a business, especially a bakery, means that your job description seems like an encyclopedia. “However, my husband and I split our duties. He handles production and delivery to commercial accounts and I handle staffing, customer service and product development. We work jointly on ordering and community involvement.”

Buttercreams are another popular treat at Ashley's Pastry Shop.
The biggest success in the couple’s career, Theresa says, was a partnership with Daybreak of Dayton, an emergency shelter for runaway and homeless youth in Dayton. When the shelter needed a business for its youth to help them gain employment and work skills, the shelter decided to develop a gourmet dog treat bakery.

The organization had the financial resources, but reached out to the Hammons for product development, training, bakery layout and sourcing of equipment and ingredients.

“For many months we developed products, trained the teens, and worked with staff,” Theresa Hammons says. “The success has been amazing. Teens learning a new trade, gaining work skills that they never witnessed, and feeling rewarded by achieving success. A little over a year ago they opened a new bakery facility with the opportunity to have more at-risk youths learn job skills and gain employment. Our time, talents, and treasures that we were able to share with Daybreak of Dayton are changing lives each and every day.”

At Ashley’s Pastry Shop, the team of talented bakers, cake decorators, sales staff, cleaning staff, packers and delivery drivers help create deliciousness every day. “Our team is our family and they are a big help to our success,” she says.

From Sand Tarts to decorated cookies to tea cookies, “I like to say a cookie in each hand is a balanced diet! Celebrating something, saying it on a cookie makes it delicious.” Hammons adds that the path to Ashley’s Pastry Shop’s success was laid with support from a great bakery community, including “our vendors, Dawn Foods and BakeMark, which enable us to deliver fresh quality products and help us to stay in touch with trends and new products.”

Ashley’s Pastry Shop has provided countless memories to share. Their hard work has earned many awards, “but the best is the smile on our customer’s face as they leave our shop.”