Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Kohnen's celebrates 20 years in Tehachapi

Kohnen's Country Bakery

Josh Crisalli.

Kohnen's Country Bakery owners Thomas and Colleen Kohnen are celebrating 20 years of service, and freshly baked goodies, in Tehachapi.

Since 2004, Kohnen's has been a beloved staple of Tehachapi, offering delicious sandwiches on freshly baked bread and a fabulous selection of baked goods, from savory to sweet. Over the years, the bakery has remained a thriving business, adapting with the times while retaining its charm and quality.

Prior to their relocation to Tehachapi 20 years ago, owners Thomas and Colleen Kohnen ran a successful business in Ojai for 14 years. Their journey into small business ownership began when Thomas, trained in Germany, ventured into the navy before an opportunity in America led him to a European-style bakery in Ventura. It was there that he met Colleen, and together, they embarked on a 35-year career in California.

Reflecting on their time in business, Thomas fondly recalls acquiring a unique collection of German steins from a retiring gentleman bound for Hawaii. This collection, ranging from tiny to 4 feet tall, added character to the bakery's ambiance. Over the years they have sold several but still have the 4-foot-tall steins as they are so unique.

Despite their success, the Kohnens have faced challenges, particularly in staffing their kitchen with qualified bakers. They lament the decline of mom-and-pop bakeries in favor of supermarket alternatives, highlighting the difficulty in finding individuals passionate about early morning shifts and the artistry of traditional baking.

Offering advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, the Kohnens emphasize the importance of location and product uniqueness. A visible spot from the main street coupled with distinctive offerings can attract customers seeking something special. One of the special things that makes them unique is they order flour from Germany which helps them offer delicious German breads.

Colleen, in her role as manager, shares her insights, emphasizing the importance of community connection.

"We've always strived to offer a unique experience to our customers," she explains. "Our offerings from Germany bring a taste of authenticity to Tehachapi, and we aim to create a welcoming atmosphere where everyone feels at home."

With 2024 marking 20 years of business in Tehachapi, Kohnen's Country Bakery continues to serve its community faithfully. Operating from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Tuesday, the bakery closes its doors on Wednesdays and Thursdays to recharge. For inquiries, customers can reach out via email at [email protected] or visit their website at http://www.Kohnens.com/. Located at 125 W. Tehachapi Blvd., the bakery invites visitors to stop by or call (661) 822-3350 to pre-order.

With a staff of 23 dedicated employees, Kohnen's remains committed to delivering quality baked goods and warm hospitality to its patrons.