Posted on Leave a comment

Holsum Bakery: A Beloved South Miami Holiday Tradition

Riviera Theater Image Courtesy Cinema Treasures

Holsum Bakery: A Beloved South Miami Holiday Tradition

Merita Bread sign courtesy Orlando Magazine
The Merita Bread sign that greeted I4 travelers through downtown Orlando. If you were lucky, bread was baking and the smell was incredible. Image courtesy Orlando Magazine

The smell of baking bread. Almost everyone loves that fresh baked smell. When you have a large professional bakery nearby it can be even more overwhelming. Just ask those who drove I-4 in Orlando during the days when Merita Bread operated a nearby bakery.

The same was true for residents of South Miami when Fuchs Baking Company, later known as Holsum Bakery, was in business on U.S. 1 in the growing community.

Riviera Theater

The Holsum Bakery building was located at 5750 S. Dixie Highway (U.S. 1). The bakery was housed in a large building that was originally constructed in 1925 as the Riviera Theater.

In 1910, brothers Robert and Harold Dorn left the cold winters of Chicago settling in an area known at the time as Larkin. Their plan was to make their fortune in the fruit business, selling locally and shipping fresh citrus north.

Robert especially bought into the hype of 1920s Florida real estate, building several commercial properties. His largest and most elaborate project was the Riviera Theater, completed in 1926.

Riviera Theater Image Courtesy Cinema Treasures
Riviera Theater Image Courtesy Cinema Treasures

The exterior of the building featured a wide and inviting staircase with arched entries. Attentive theater goers would have seen many decorative carvings, coat of arms displays, and decorative, yet functional lighting fixtures. The barrel tile, hip roof showcased the Mediterranean influence popular in Miami during the period.

The theater was built of steel and concrete. The ceilings reached a whopping thirty-seven feet high, supported by hand painted beams. Columns lined the aisles along the gently sloping floor which led to the stage area.

Facing the stage to the left was a large Wurlitzer organ with pipes installed on both the left and right hands sides of the stage. Seating was divided into three sections with two aisles creating left, center, and right sections. Total seating was around 1,000.

Actress Laura LaPlante image courtesy Wikipedia
Actress Laura LaPlante Image courtesy Wikipedia

The theater opened to much fanfare, and with the September 4, 1926, opening showing of Her Big Night, starring Laura LaPlante, the theater looked poised to become a grand success. However, the Riviera was a victim of circumstances beyond the control of the Dorn brothers.

In mid-September 1926, hurricane tracking and forecasting were still a thing of the future. In the days before satellite imaging, hurricane tracking planes, and computer models, residents relied on reports out of Washington D.C. The problem being, Washington relied heavily on reports from ship captains. The Weather Bureau of the day knew of the storm but Richard Gray, head of the Miami branch of the Weather Bureau was unaware of what was barreling through the Atlantic that second week of September. It was not until the late evening of September 17, less than twelve hours before landfall, that hurricane warnings were posted. The deadly 1926 hurricane would be like nothing anyone there had ever witnessed.

Robert Dorn and his family were attempting to take a few days of vacation when they were caught in Palm Beach by the dramatically dangerous weather. The Sunday paper highlighted the damage to the region and Dorn had no idea the condition of the Riviera.

Candy You Ate As A Kid

Fighting road flooding, traffic congestion, and bridges of uncertain stability, the family made it safely to their home which had miraculously survived. Dorn was to find the Riviera suffered little damage and he was able to have the theater put back in working order quickly. Unfortunately for Dorn, electric service took several weeks to be repaired. Theater goers, eager to escape the realities of life for a couple of hours, were forced to wait for repairs.

Despite having defied the ravages of a category four hurricane, the Riviera could not withstand the onslaught of the bursting of the Florida land boom and the coming of the Great Depression. Many residents found themselves in dire straits financially, and a night at the movies was no longer in the budget, as they tried to wait out the bust.

The Riviera was a casualty of the crashing of the Florida land boom, closing some time in 1927. Dorn entertained several ideas to reopen the facility, such as creating a nightclub, but the financial realities kept the facility closed for many years before, in 1934, the Riviera found a new life.

Click the image to subscribe to Playbill Magazine
About Playbill Magazine:
Playbill’s monthly subscription edition offers the same feature stories that run as part of the in-theatre edition of the magazine. CLICK the image to subscribe.


Fuchs Bakery/Holsum Bread Company

When Charlie Fuchs, Sr. arrived in south Florida during the early 1910s, he and his family opened a small bakery, cooking and selling out of their Homestead home. Quickly finding success, Fuchs purchased the local Noble Bakery in order to expand. With the help of a hired baker, and Charlie, Jr. returning from service in the Great War, the business thrived.

With the addition of a new bakery located near the Redland Hotel and having opened an ice cream parlor, the Fuchs were working hard, but showing meaningful results. Charlie Jr., drove a delivery truck, helping not only deliver bread, but spreading the Fuchs Bakery name across the region.

Charlie Sr. retired from the business in 1924. Needing to further expand, Charlie Jr. initiated talks to acquire the Riviera Theater building from the Dorn family. The building had been sitting vacant for nearly a decade and Robert Dorn believed selling the property was the best option.

Major interior alterations were made to the structure but the exterior, including the large open stairway leading to the arched entrances was preserved. Over the years, the name changed, eventually settling on Holsum Bread Company, often just called Holsum Bakery.

The Fuchs family did much to ingratiate themselves to the community. Not only did they sell bread right out of the oven to walk in customers, they delivered their fresh made bread throughout south Florida. One report states that they even shipped bread to Puerto Rico and Cuba. A newspaper account from 1949 made the claim the bakery had the capacity to turn out 10,000 loaves of bread per hour.

Annual Holiday Exhibit

While Holsum Bakery and Fuchs Bakery were best known for their bread, they were also famous for their annual Christmas exhibits. These exhibits drew thousands of spectators each year and were never the same, so there was always a reason to return each year.

Just when these exhibits started is open for debate. In trying to research this question, I have come up with published dates of 1937, 1939, and 1940. I suppose for our purposes here, if we were to say, “around 1940,” I think we would be quite safe.

Below, I present to you a series of postcard images I have collected featuring the Holsum Bakery annual Christmas exhibits from 1949 through 1958. I have seen a card featuring the 1948 exhibit but I have yet to add this one to my collection. If there are postcards before 1948 or after 1958, I have not seen them.

Holsum Bakery 1949 Christmas Display
Holsum Bakery 1949 Christmas Display


Holsum Bakery 1950 Christmas Display
Holsum Bakery 1950 Christmas Display


Holsum Bakery 1951 Christmas Display
Holsum Bakery 1951 Christmas Display–notice the water tower in the left rear of the image not shown in other images


Holsum Bakery 1952 Christmas Display
Holsum Bakery 1952 Christmas Display


Holsum Bakery 1953 Christmas Display
Holsum Bakery 1953 Christmas Display


Holsum Bakery 1954 Christmas Display
Holsum Bakery 1954 Christmas Display


Holsum Bakery 1955 Christmas Display
Holsum Bakery 1955 Christmas Display


Holsum Bakery 1956 Christmas Display
Holsum Bakery 1956 Christmas Display


Holsum Bakery 1957 Christmas Display
Holsum Bakery 1957 Christmas Display


Holsum Bakery 1958 Christmas Display
Holsum Bakery 1958 Christmas Display


Focusing on the restoration of movie theaters in Atlanta, Biloxi, Birmingham, Durham, Memphis, and Tampa, Janna Jones provides a record of the architectural history and preservation of the opulent urban picture palace. Reflecting our fascination with the past, she re-creates the magic of the early years of theaters throughout the southern United States, their demise in the mid-20th century, and their renaissance in the 1970s as the preservation movement swept across the country. Click the photo or THIS LINK to learn more and order your copy of The Southern Movie Palace. 

1941 Orange Bowl Parade

In keeping with the holiday theme, the Miami Dade Public Libraries Special Collections has these two images from the 1941 Orange Bowl Parade. It is interesting to note, the one photo is taken in front of a theater building, showing a Boris Karloff film, The Ape, something that only a few years prior might have showed at the Riviera. Be sure to note the parade watchers in the windows high above ground level.

1941 Orange Bowl Parade Image Courtesy Miami Dade Public LIbraries Special Collections
1941 Orange Bowl Parade Image Courtesy Miami Dade Public Libraries Special Collections
1941 Orange Bowl Parade Image Courtesy Miami Dade Public Libraries Special Collection
1941 Orange Bowl Parade Image Courtesy Miami Dade Public Libraries Special Collections

Fuchs Family

Charlie Fuchs, Sr. passed away in 1940. An online memorial may be found using THIS LINK.

Charlie Fuchs, Jr. passed away either in 1949 or 1956 depending upon the source. He was killed in a hunting accident on an airboat while in the Everglades. In 1956, the city of South Miami renamed Blue Water Park, Fuchs Park, in honor of Charlie, Jr. An online memorial for Charlie, Jr. may be found using THIS LINK.

The Building in Recent Years

During the early 1980s, the Holsum Bakery moved operations to Medley, FL leaving the building empty and at the hands of real estate developers. The property was purchased, and the Riviera/Holsum Bakery demolished in 1986, replaced by a shopping mall. Property owners attempted to pay homage to the history of the property, naming the mall, Bakery Center with the AMC Bakery Center 7 Theatres as a tenant.

Bakery Center proved short lived and by 1996 this too was demolished to make way for the Shops at Sunset Place. According to Cinema Treasures, the rear portion of LA Fitness and the western edge of the parking garage are located where the Riviera once stood.

A Different Riviera Theater

The name Riviera Theater is certainly not unique and in 1956 another Riviera Theater was opened in south Florida. Located in Coral Gables, the theater seated 1,281. The theater was turned into a twin plex in 1974, before becoming a five plex in 1986. The theater ultimately closed in 1999. It appears the building was demolished in 2021. Several interesting images may be found on the Cinema Treasures website. If you click the link, be sure to scroll down to the comments for additional photos.


If you have photos or stories of the Riviera Theater, the Dorn or Fuchs family, or the South Miami Holsum Bakery facility I would love to see them and with your permission, add them to this post or create a new post for your material. Please feel free to comment on this post, or send me an email.



Cinema Treasures.

Florida Master Site file

“The Holsum Bakery Building.” Historical Association of Southern Florida Update. Volume 5 No. 2 (December 1977).

Miami Dade Public Library System. “Capacity 10,000 Loaves an Hour.” Article dated September 20, 1949. Miami Vol. 54: 1949-1950 Agnew Welsh Scrapbooks. 36.

Miami Dade Public Library System. “Florida’s Tallest Yule.” Article dated December 17, 1950. Florida Vol. 66: 1950 Agnew Welsh Scrapbooks. 75.

Miami Dade Public Library System. Untitled article. Dade County Vol. 22: 1951 Agnew Welsh Scrapbooks. 19.

South Miami Magazine.


This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.  


About Miami Magazine:  Miami Magazine Subscription                                                                     Miami Magazine is the definitive guide to living the most glamorous life, speaking to Miami’s top tastemakers, power players, celebrities and international visitors. As part of the award-winning Modern Luxury Media network, Miami Magazine delivers cutting-edge fashion spreads, international travel features, revealing celebrity profiles, and the latest local know-how, ensuring our content consistently engages the city’s most cultured audience.





Posted on Leave a comment

Restaurant Review–Luigi’s Pizzeria and Ristorante in Port Orange, Florida

Half Cheese and half pepperoni pizza

Restaurant Review—Luigi’s Pizzeria and Ristorante

3284 Clyde Morris Boulevard                                                                                                                                Port Orange, FL 32129                                                                                                                                      386-761-6633                                                                                              

I am always on the lookout for good pizza whether it be dine in, take out, or delivery. We found ourselves in Port Orange, FL a bit later than anticipated a few days ago and decided to look for somewhere to have dinner. If you have been around Port Orange you know that Dunlawton Avenue is filled with chain places, as is the Pavilion.

Luigi’s Pizzeria in Port Orange, FL. Image courtesy TripAdvisor

Having shopped a few times at Perrine’s, we remembered there is a pizza restaurant in the shopping plaza and we decided to give them a try. The restaurant is Luigi’s Pizzeria and Ristorante. I’m glad we stopped in and you should as well.

The restaurant is not large but it is as clean as they come. Everything was spotless when we entered. They were not overly busy for dine in customers and the waitress invited us to sit wherever we liked.

The waitress promptly came to our table with menus and took our drink order. They offer Coke products but we went for unsweet tea. The tea is brewed and not out of the fountain. They look to have a limited beer and wine selection.

The menu is pretty standard fare including New York style pizza by the slice or whole pie, calzones, stromboli, Italian dinners, salads, and a selection of 12” sandwiches. The menu highlights the most popular items with a small chef’s hat.

These popular items include the meatball parmigiana sub, antipasto salad, bruschetta, meat lasagna, veal marsala, the chicken francese, and a tiramisu dessert. The recommended pizza is the Italian Deluxe which includes pepperoni, meatballs, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers.

Luigi's menu

We opted to keep it simple and ordered the six garlic knot basket and a 14” pizza, half cheese and half with pepperoni. The knots came out quickly. They are a bit small but were loaded with melted butter, fresh garlic, and a side of tomato sauce. They were quite tasty. The sauce had a strong flavor and was the perfect accompaniment. I would definitely order them again.

Half Cheese and half pepperoni pizzaShortly after, the pizza arrived, piping hot out of the oven. The 14” pizza is six slices and was perfect for two people. The cheese was excellent. It had that stringy, stretchy, gooey quality that you find in good pizza. Upon reading the menu further, it can be discovered that Luigi’s uses cheese from the Grande Cheese Company. Learn more about their dedication to quality and to independent restaurants by clicking the link to their website.

Overall, the food was excellent. The service was above expectations. Our waitress was attentive but not overbearing. She checked in but was not obtrusive about it.

Cheese pizzas run $14 for the 14” and $17 for the 18”. A Sicilian style is available for $20. A 10” cauliflower crust is available for $10. Toppings are $1 on the cauliflower crust, $1.50 for the 14”, and $2.50 each for the other two styles.  Premium toppings are available for an additional charge.

Pastas range from about $12 to $20 depending upon the meat included. Sandwiches are $10-$13.

Our total was a bit under $30 for two people. Not cheap but by no means out of line for a good dine in meal. We will certainly be returning.

The interior of Luigi's Pizzeria in Port Orange, FLAs mentioned above, for dine in, they were not exceedingly busy. It was us and two other tables. They were doing a high volume of pick up orders however. To me, that’s a very good indicator of what locals think. Delivery is available within four miles of the restaurant.

The website lists hours of Tuesday through Saturday 11am-9pm and Sunday noon-9pm. The paper take out menu states they are now open on Monday 11am-9pm.

Luigi’s is conveniently located on Clyde Morris Boulevard in the Perrine’s Plaza, across Clyde Morris from the Wal Mart Neighborhood Market. They are within minutes of most of Port Orange.

After dinner, if you don’t partake of dessert there, may I recommend Ritter’s Frozen Custard, also on Clyde Morris Boulevard.

Candy You Ate As A Kid 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products. 


Rome Pizza and Pasta Cooking Class with Wine
Experience the most authentic way to enjoy food in Rome by making your own pizza and pasta with this cooking class. Go through all the steps, from preparing the dough to cooking in a wood-fired oven while enjoying unlimited wine. End your class with a tiramisù and Limoncello tasting. Click the image or THIS LINK for details and to book your authentic Italian cooking class during your visit to Rome.
Posted on Leave a comment

A Guide to the Western North Carolina Cheese Makers Trail

Western North Carolina Cheese Trail

Are you a fan of artisan cheese or specialty foods? Are you a traveler seeking an out of the ordinary travel itinerary? Are you in western North Carolina and looking for a fun way to spend a weekend? Do you prefer to shop local and support local, small business? Do you enjoy finding that perfect birthday or holiday gift that the recipient will never expect? If you answered yes to any of these questions or the ideas sound appealing, I strongly recommend a tour through the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail!

This unique grouping of artisan cheese makers came together in 2012 with the stated goal “To promote production and sale of WNC artisan cheese, facilitate consumer education, and encourage tourism to the region to benefit our members.” While we didn’t get to every stop on the trail, having visited several of these incredible artisans, I can highly recommend following the trail. The cheeses are varied and delicious and the cheese makers are friendly and passionate about what they do.

Many of the cheese makers listed below focus on goats milk in making their cheeses. A lot of people do not like goat cheese. Food & Wine magazine has put together a listing of common misconceptions and mistakes people make about goat cheese. I encourage you to read this brief article. 

Th WNCCT volunteer organization does a tremendous job promoting their members and each year hosts the annual Carolina Mountain Cheese Festivala gathering  that draws more than thirty cheese and artisan food producers to a beautiful location, providing businesses and customers a chance to mingle, renew acquaintances, and seek out the finest in artisan cheese. Check the website linked above for future events.

So, without further ado, lets take a look at the WNC Cheese Trail. Below, you will find a map of the trail. I will follow along the numbered trail below providing you information on the name, address, website, and crucial information on each stop. You won’t be able to get to all of these in a day but this can help you plan out a trip and make the most of your time.

Western North Carolina Cheese Trail by Location

Western North Carolina Cheese Trail
Map is courtesy Western North Carolina Cheese Trail


1. Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery                                                                                                                            327 Flat Rock Road
Fairview, NC 28711

Using locally produced raw cow milk, BRMC produces a range of cave aged cheeses including blue, asiago, cheddar, pepper jack, and more. Victor, the owner, is known not just for his cheese making skill but also his glassblowing abilities. You can find Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery cheeses at local tailgate markets and in many restaurants.


English Farmstead Cheese
English Farmstead Cheese

2. English Farmstead                                                                           19456 US 221 North                                                                         Marion, NC 28752

From our family cows to your table. Their Facebook page seems the best way to get information.  I recommend calling or emailing for additional information, including hours. It looks like tours may be available but I wasn’t able to find a lot of detail.




Pierre Cheese Market

3. Heritage Homestead Dairy                                                                                                                               960 Roy Goodman Road                                                                                                                                   Crumpler, North Carolina 28617

Since 1994 owners Carol and Lon Coulter have been raising several varieties of goats in order to produce their delicious cheeses that are found at local markets and retail establishments. Goats are milked eight months out of the year and bred in March and April, allowing for sustainable production. According to their website products range from chevre to feta to pimento. Other products include fudge , caramels, and pestos. Use their contact form to arrange for direct purchase.

4. Looking Glass Creamery                                                                                                                                    115 Harmon Dairy Lane                                                                                                                                     Columbus, North Carolina 28722

Their mission, “We want to operate a diverse farm and share it with our guests to provide experience, enjoyment and education about farming and food production. We will make great cheese, preserves and cider within a full circle system that works in harmony with the land, people, and animals. Our farm will be financially sound, environmentally responsible, and agriculturally thriving.”

Read a brief history of their production on their website. Follow them on their Facebook page for all the latest.


Rogue Creamery Hopyard Cheddar – $15.79

By adding organic, Northwest-grown hop blossoms to their cheddar as they stir the curds, Rogue Creamery created a floral, herbal cheese with subtle, pleasant bitterness and a buttery finish.



Round Mountain Creamery in Black Mountain, NC.
Round Mountain Creamery Store

5. Round Mountain Creamery                                                                 2203 Old Fort Road                                                                           Black Mountain, North Carolina 28711

Round Mountain Creamery began in 2002 by Linda Seligman and five goats. Today it is a thriving 28 acre goat dairy and farmstead. It was named the first Grade A certified goat dairy in North Carolina. The farm produces nine varieties of soft cheese in sweet, savory, and spicy combinations. Their cheeses are available at numerous local markets and at their own farm store. Tours of the farm are available and must be booked in advance. One hour walking tours cost $15 per person.  See the website for details on booking this unique experience.


6. Spinning Spider Creamery                                                                                                                             4717 East Fork Road                                                                                                                                             Marshall, North Carolina 28753

Begun in 1999 as a goat dairy in response to cow milk allergies, Spinning Spider Creamery is a family farm with roots in 4-H and homeschooling their three sons.  The family mission is to maintain a lifestyle that incorporates the cycles of the seasons with their love of our animals, their craft of cheese making and their family unity.  The entire family participates in the operation of the creamery.  The end result is a variety of handcrafted artisan cheeses brought to their fullest complexity of flavors through care and attention to detail in an old world style.

Their cheeses are available at farmers markets, local specialty stores and limited hours by appointment at the farm.  At this time they offer no tours and limit on farm sales to appointment only. You may also keep up with them on their Facebook page.

7. Yellow Branch Cheese and Pottery

Appears to be closed. Website is deactivated and social media have not been updated.

8. Blue Goat Dairy

Vail, NC 28168

They treat their goats with homeopathic remedies and herbs to keep them healthy. The goats are fed with all-natural local hay that is not treated with sprays or other harmful chemicals. After the milk comes from the goats, they pasteurize it and make it into all the different flavors immediately. The sooner the milk is used, the fresher the cheese is. Their goat cheese is so smooth and creamy that even folks who say “I don’t like goat cheese” are delighted by the tastiness!

You may follow them on their Facebook page.

Chevoo on Crackers with Truffle SlicesChoose CHEVOO for all your mail order gourmet goat cheese product. Click the link or the photo to learn more about their products and to place your order.  All CHEVOO Marinated Goat Cheeses start with the highest quality goat cheese, hand-blended with herbs, spices, chilis, honey, or pollens and then pair them with an Extra Virgin Olive Oil blend that has been infused for 8 weeks with crushed botanicals. CHEVOO was founded in 2015 by Aussie expats Gerard & Susan Tuck. When they moved to the US they were inspired to create a new and unique range of Marinated Goat Cheeses that American foodies would love.

Recommended Farm Stops Along the Cheese Trail

9. Addison Farms Vineyard

10. French Broad Creamery

11. Hickory Nut Gap Farm

12. Linville Falls Winery

13. Marked Tree Vineyard

14. FernCrest Winery

15. Plēb Urban Winery

16. Ripshin Goat Dairy

Pierre Cheese Market

To Learn More or Become a Member of the WNC Cheese Trail

Are you super interested in the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail? If so, they invite you to become a member at one of the various levels, from cheese fan to principal member (this is the place for you if you are WNC cheese maker).

You can also follow the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail on Social Media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, or TWITTER.

  This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.


 Culture is the ultimate publication for those who love cheese. This magazine is devoted to delivering the most innovative, eye-opening stories about the world’s many cheeses and cheese makers. Within each issue, you can travel to gorgeous cheese regions, meet passionate makers and mongers, discover one-of-a-kind recipes, and even learn how to make your own cheeses. Each issue is a resource for readers of any background. Click the link or the image to subscribe!