Dempsey Bakery

Originally built in 1948 for an auto sales and service company, the building that houses Dempsey Bakery expresses the bold geometry of the tall, angled glass windows and the original neon “clouds” of light at the ceiling — all elements typical of mid-century auto sales showrooms. It wasn’t until Paula Dempsey contacted Herron Horton Architects that the details from the 1948 building were revealed. For many years, the existing neon lights were covered with a dropped acoustical tile ceiling containing recessed fluorescent light fixtures. The open showroom space had also been divided into office space, and the existing linoleum floor was covered with blue carpet. The transformation/re-model involved expressing the original features of the 1948 dealership showroom and celebrating the mid-century modern design. The former service space has been transformed into a 1,550-square-foot gluten-free kitchen.

Little Rock, Arkansas | 2011

I will do anything for Jennifer and Jeff. They helped concept and design the total look of the bakery first, and then they helped me get bids, etc.

I acted as my own contractor, so they helped me with more than they really should have. They are so easy to work with and communicate with.

I absolutely love our finished product. They really outdid themselves and helped me keep the feel of the 1940s building and yet make it fresh and new for a very specialized bakery. My customers love the look and feel of the bakery. I had a customer that specialized in restaurant architecture in San Francisco come in one day, and he absolutely loved what we did with the look and feel of a retro bakery.

HHA was very budget-conscience every step of the way, and we were always working within my limits. I did not have a lot of money to work with, so budget was very important. I hope they can help with my expansion when the time is ready.

-Paula Dempsey, Dempsey Bakery


Looking north at main space and entry - before photo

Looking south at main space