Claud Baking Company

  • Kim Hodges
  • Mar 7, 2019

Known for their delectable hand-crafted pies, Claud Baking Company has been making an impact in more ways than one throughout Athens, and surrounding areas since 2013, rapidly growing into the community.  Specialty orders for weddings, social events and individuals are all options for the old fashioned style baker.

Owners, Diana and Russell Richardson said growth has been by "word of mouth mostly," regarding the expanding interest and uptick of requests for her artisan pies.  "They keep coming back and spreading the word about our pies," she remarked.

The Richardson's made a brave, life changing move back to their roots in Athens and Baxter area, soon after losing Russell's father suddenly.  This event placed a desire in Diana's heart to be closer to family so her children could develop meaningful relationships with their grandparents.  Something she really missed out on in her childhood.

For a little backstory: After graduating from college, Diana worked for Dell Corporation for almost 22 years, wearing many hats as a Project Manager.  Russell works full-time as a local realtor with Echols Real Estate.  Diana does all the cooking.  Russell will sometimes help with the bakery after work, during busy times, especially throughout holiday seasons.

Faith led Diana to make a decision to go to her second level supervisor and give a two week notice at Dell.  They in turn offered her an opportunity to work remotely from Athens, which she did for around seven years.  They were, "back home" within a week.

Diana's parents provided a specialty food delivery service for a number of years in Athens, and had built a separate building on their property to serve as a kitchen and storage.  Since they had retired, Diana asked if she could use the building for baking.  A small business was born, based on old-fashioned ideals.

Claud Baking Company's name was derived from an old family name - Russell's grandfather, Claud Richardson, - who was a local farmer in the Baxter community.  Claud would take a horse and buggy into town to pick up flour, sugar, salt and other staples and bring them back to the farm.  An old ledger showed they grew peaches and berries, and other produce on their land, with which his grandmother would make pies out of the fresh ingredients, right from scratch. 

Diana grew up around cooking and baking.  She loves memories evoked of happy times in the kitchen with her mother, Rebecca.  After learning to cook, she started baking, which became her passion.

Since beginning Claud Baking Company, they have expanded from not only phone orders, to supplying fresh pies at Come and Take It in Athens.  Her pies are also offered by the slice at the Boathouse Restaurant located on Lake Athens.

Diana was asked to create a Culinary Program at the Athens Christian Preparatory Academy (ACPA) around the same time her children entered their Junior High years there.  They were in need of a teacher and they would help lower tuition for her kids.  She jumped at the opportunity and still teaches part-time there today.  "The kids love what they are learning and opportunities they have by taking the culinary class," Diana expressed.

When asked about the future, Russell and Diana both express an interest to grow the business in manageable steps.  Diana plans to continue teaching at ACPA and creating her scrumptious pies often using locally grown fruits, pecans, and other quality ingredients.

Sprinkled with a whole lot of love and a unique scratch crust, you can enjoy the fruit of Claud Bakery Company's labor by calling, texting or emailing them at: 903-203-7075 phone; claudbaking@yahoo.com email, or by visiting their website at www.claudbaking.com

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