A. Hagaman & Co. ~ Hagaman Bakery

Abram Hagaman

The Times-Union, Albany, N. Y. Friday, July 30, 1926

.pdf of source

August 8, 1941 Utica NY Observer
Lemon Pies Lead to Success
     Albany—(AP)— Two lemon pies–like those you once mouthed from Grandma's cupboard–have meant success for 83 year old Emma Hagaman, Albany's oldest woman executive.
     Her career began in the early 1884's when bored with inactivity at her father's nearby Eagle Hill farm. She baked two pies and suggested he sell them while marketing his vegetables. It was an easy sale and the purchaser's husband, proving the proof of the pudding was in the eating, gave praises and thanks.
     Miss Hagaman promptly had an idea. The next day she baked 27 pies. But let Charles Hagaman, subsequently vicepresident and treasurer of the firm his sister eventually founded and still heads, tell the story:
     "It was raining that day," recalled the brother, "and I guess father picked the wrong part of town. Most of the 27 came back. She was disappointed, but after that she sent in fewer each day and they sold. From then on it was just a case of Emma's baking and father's salesmanship."
     Two years later Miss Hagaman's bake shop had outgrown its original quarters, and although the firm was named for the father, she remained and still is the acknowledged head.
     Some of her original recipes are still used in the business which today supplies a myriad of baker's _____ to a large proportion of Albany. One of her first customer, Anne Bastian, who recently completed 30 years of service with the company, still follows an original recipe in making tea biscuits.
     Miss Hagaman, alert and active despite her years, maintains a keen interest in many affairs. A chauffeur daily drives her to work, but it was only four years ago she stopped driving herself because she said, "the family worried."

Albany NY Times Union 1941

.pdf of source

A Woman's Idea and 2 Lemon Pies Started Hagaman Bakery 67 Years Ago

A woman's idea and 2 lemon pies were the original ingredients that went into the founding of the A. Hagaman & Co. baking firm and pioneer Pine Mills business 67 years ago.
 Charles Abram Hagaman, now 87, last of the Hagaman baking family, says it was his sister, the late Miss Emma A. Hagaman, who started the business. She baked two lemon pies and asked her father, Abram Hagaman to "bring them to the city" with him, in the hope that he might sell them. Francis M. Wooley, a dispatcher at the Union Station living at 230 Washington Ave., bought the pies. More pies were baked and more sold the same way, establishing a business that was to spread to tremendous proportions.
 "My sister was an excellent baker and cook," said Mr. Hagaman. "She had been a school teacher but gave it up to help at home because of mother's illness."

25 Pies Returned

Miss Hagaman was so enthused about the sale of her first two pies, the next day she baked 27 pies and suggested that her father might be able to sell them to "the rich families in State St. opposite Washington Park."
 The maids at the homes of the "rich people" weren't receptive to the pie-seller and Abram Hagaman brought back 25 of the pies.
 "Father soon found out that the middle-class people constituted the great mass of purchasing power," recalled the son.
 The late Truman D Cameron, who established the Cameron lumber business in Albany, gave the elder Mr. Hagaman some help with loan of wagons and the business soon began to improve.
 Charles A. Hagaman was born on a farm near Westerlo. His father, Abram, also born on a farm in 1798, was a printer for a time on the Christian Paladian, later working alternately in Canada and Rochester. In December 1782, the family was back on the old farm again and lived there until 1883, when he purchased a place on Eagle Hill, near Oxford Rd. and Western Ave., and became a neighbor of Tuman D. Cameron. In 1884 came the incident of the two pies and the beginning of a baking industry.
 Business Improves
 "Mr. Cameron gave father some help with the loan of wagons and business began to improve," recalled Charles A Hagaman. "We remained at the Eagle Hill farm until 1885, and rented the house at 522 Hamilton St., which is still there today. It was then a new house. My sister had a portable oven and she got up at 1 a. a. to get her pies and other baked goods ready."
 The business expanded and a deal was made which involved a trade of the old Eagle Hill farm for Leonard Adams' property at 520 Hudson Ave. on which there was a house and barn. Here was built the first brick oven.
 Hudson Ave. was unpaved then, and the mud was deep at times. Directly to the south was Madison Ave., of semi-business character. These, at 881-883, the Hagamans purchased lots and built a residence and bakery. They kept increasing and expanding the buildings, taking in the lots at 877 and 879 Madison Ave.
 In 1904, came the new east building and barns in the back for the horses. In 1910, the house at 883 Madison was acquired. It had been the old Myron Dillon grocery. It was moved to the back part of the lot and a new building was put up on the former site. Other building and equipment additions were made later and finally the firm opened branch stores.
 The first branch was on the east side of Lark St., just north of State St. In 1900, came the store at 123 S. Pearl. Then followed the first store in Steuben St. in the old Woolworth Building; then in Troy at 32 Fouth St., and then at 1108 Madison Ave., for the second Pine Hills store.
 Now Hagaman stores in addition to Madison Ave. are 198 Lark; 10-A Steuben and 91-91 1/2 Hudson Ave.
 "Yes, Emma was the head of the business from the start," said her brother. "She was president when she died Jan. 6, 1942, 52 years after those first two pies."

In Firm Since '83

Charles A Hagaman has been in the firm since 1885, almost from the start. The father-daughter-son combination continued until the father's death in 1909, when A. Hagaman & Co. was incorporated.
 The original Hagaman pies were sold from an open wagon. The so-called eight-inch pie sold for 16 cents. Lemon and apple pies were the best sellers. In season there were huckleberry, strawberry, rhubarb and raspberry pies.
 The Hagaman Company now has 30 automobile bakery trucks. They cover some 22 routes, going as far as Ravena on the south to the Waterford village line on the north, to the Schenectady city line on the west and east in Rensselaer.
 The company has some 180 persons on its payroll, including bakers, helpers, drivers, store clerks, office workers and other personnel.
 Harry A. Seaver, one of Albany's best known residents in social and community work, has been with the Hagaman company since 1901, except for two years while engaged in educational work in the Philippine Islands. He was shop foreman many years. He is now associate manager with harry Adams of 57 S. Main Ave.
 Mr. Hagaman recalls the famous blizzard of 1888. He and his mother were visiting at the farm of Thomas E Seaman at South Westerlo and were returning from church to the Seaman farm when the "very fine dry snow" began falling on a Sunday.

 Roads Impassable

 "It snowed the rest of the day and through the night, " he recalled. "On Monday morning, I started for the stage four miles away and returned to the farm because the roads were impassable. It continued snowing through Tuesday and Wednesday. Finally on Thursday, Clayton Seaman, a son, drove us to Indian Fields two miles away but we didn't make any progress because the roads were still closed. Mother returned to the farm and I continued through the deep snow on food to Indian Fields, now a part of Alcove Reservoir. From there I got a ride on a sleigh to Ravena only to find passenger trains were not in service. Finally I managed to get a ride in a passenger coach attached to the end of a freight train which got as far as Denwood from where I walked to the bakery. My anxiety to return was all for naught. The city streets were so banked with snow, it was impossible to make deliveries.

Snow Near Second Floor

On Madison Ave. in Pine Hills, he said, snow almost reached second floor windows.
 Mr. Hagaman lived successively at 84 Willet, then at 141 S. Lake Ave., then 567 Providence St. before moving to the Wellington Hotel in 1943 after the death of his wife in 1940.
 Miss Emma Hagaman lived for a while at 380 Western Ave., now the Kappa Delta sorority house of State College for Teachers, and then at 971 Madison Ave., now owned by the College of St. Rose.
 A younger brother, Frank R. Hagaman, who was associated with the firm, died in 1941.

The Kickerbocker News, Albany N.Y., Friday, December 14, 1951

The Knickerbocker News, Albany, N. Y., Tues., October 20, 1953