San Diego Hysterical Society



Ashley Bakery Opens

by J. Fredrick Lawrence


On a cold February 14 in 1909, Jonathan "Jack" Ashley with the help of his two sons Stephen and Robert, opened the first drive-thru bakery on Point Loma.

Rosecrans Bakery
- Crowds walk through "drive-thru" -

"Hot cars and hot-crossed buns are going to be the future of Point Loma," predicted the elder Ashley as he cut the ribbon to the entrance of his new bakery. "As more of them Navy boys down the street get cars, they are not going to want to get out of them to walk in to buy buns!" We might just even slide a bit of hamburger into a few buns, put them in little boxes and see if they sell. There's going to be money in drive-thru, and that's the fact Jack."

Unclear on the concept, opening day crowds lined up to walk past the "drive-thru" window to get served. The next day, everyone came back with their cars, causing the first traffic jam in San Diego's history.

Brother Stephen would later go to seminary school, start his own religious cult, and build the famous Ashley Batmobile.


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