Mother Knows Best

Popular Newburgh bakery runs on cherished family recipes
Cleo's most popular items include honey rosemary buttermilk biscuits, cream of coconut cake, and persimmon pudding.

The walls of Cleo’s Bakery and Brown Bag Lunches at 9 W. Jennings St., Newburgh, IN, are adorned with simple décor that put the spotlight on delicious delicacies in the display case, but one item stands out from the rest.

A vintage framed photo of a young woman holds the secrets and origins of Cleo’s success. The 19-year-old captured in time is Cleo’s namesake, Cleo Brochin — the mother of the bakery’s co-owners and siblings, Jeannie Kellams, Jerry Brochin, and Susan Paradis.
While Brochin passed in 2007, her beloved recipes lived on with Kellams dreams for the future.

“[Opening a bakery] was always something I always wanted to do,” the Pike County native says. “I wasn’t sure it would ever come true, but we got together and decided let’s just do it.”

In October 2012, Cleo’s officially opened, serving customers breakfast, lunch, and dessert Wednesday through Sunday. While Kellams handles all the baking, including their most popular item the cream of coconut cake, her son cooks the remaining menu items.

Cleo’s is known locally for their cakes, bread puddings, and honey rosemary buttermilk biscuits, which Kellams’ son even uses as the bread for their breakfast sandwiches.

“We’re just a small family owned business — everything we make is from scratch,” says Kellams. “It’s corny but I like customers to feel like family.”

Icing on the cake


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