Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Clayborn's back in business

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Mike Rhodes makes some fried apple pies in the kitchen of J. Clayborn's Bakery. Rhodes, 65, started helping his late brother-in-law Thomas Cason in the same kitchen at the age of 18. "I was taught by the best," he commented of his journey from sweeping the floor to learning to make everything. For those that think getting to the office at 8 a.m. is early, Rhodes starts his day at 4 a.m. DALLUS WHITFIELD / The Wilson Post
Apple filling is spooned into the pastry for pies.  DALLUS WHITFIELD / The Wilson Post
A portrait of Johnnie J. Clayborn hangs on the wall with other photos to create a historical timeline of the bakery, which is named for him.   DALLUS WHITFIELD / The Wilson Post

One of Wilson County's tastiest landmarks is under new ownership.

Brittany Pickler is carrying on her grandfather's legacy with J. Clayborn's, a bakery and cafe. Her business partners are her mother, Connie Pickler, and sister, Brooke Pickler.

Pickler is the granddaughter of Johnnie J. Clayborn, who for many decades owned Clayborn's Bakery in Lebanon. Clayborn got into the business in 1960, when he became co-owner of Driver's Bakery.

Clayborn became sole owner of the company in 1964.

In 1970 the bakery moved to West Main Street, which is where it will once again flourish when doors to J. Clayborn's open on Monday morning at 6 a.m.

"My mom, sister and I went in together to do this. It broke all our hearts when the bakery closed," she said. "We want to see it thrive like it did when Papa had it."

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at

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