Pat Pedden, owner of Karen’s Kitchen on Bluffton Road is leaving the baking business. Karen’s has been in business since 1956 and was started by Pedden’s parents, Mildred and Allan.
Pat Pedden decided on West Point after graduating from high school and after West Point he joined the Airborn Rangers.
While, Pat was away being a soldier, Pat’s father, Allen, had taken a job with Pillsbury as a trouble shooter. Allan traveled around the country solving baking problems until meeting Don Hall here in Fort Wayne. Hall’s offered the elder Pedden a job and the Pedden family settled in Fort Wayne.
Pat’s father Allan was not only a baker, but an entrepreneur. He found a way to flash freeze dough without killing the yeast and began selling his product to other bakeries. When Pat came back from the service he joined the family business which was being run by Allan, Mildred, and Karen Pedden.
Pat and, his father Allan, in addition to their bakery business became involved in manufacturing products made from aluminum. That eventually led to a business which supplied International Harvester with sleeper cabs. A downturn in the market caused the sleeper cab business to close and Pat was left with Karen’s Kitchen as well as continuing to run the family farm.
A typical day for Pedden involved waking up at 1:00 AM to begin baking doughnuts and pastries. He would work in the kitchen until the afternoon lunch crowd were taken care of and then he would clean up and drive to Poe, Indiana to do the farm chores.
The recent slow-down in the economy had reduced Pat’s profit margin to a point where he decided to take a job at the Social Security Office.
But, Karen’s Kitchen is not closing. Pedden was contacted by Chris Wilson and now Pat has trained Chris to take over his family business.
Chris is married with five boys and the change of proprietorship happened on April 15, 2008.
Welcome to Waynedale Chris, and thank you Pat for your many years of service and dedication to all the people in Waynedale.
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