Bakersfield family business assists Heart Walk

Story by Catherine Stachowiak

What are these delicious cinnamon buns capturing attention during every annual Heart Walk event?  For many years the owners of Hodel’s Country Dining and Catering has brought their own private recipe cinnamon rolls for serving at the Heart Walk to participate in helping the Kern Valley community.  

Owner Don Hodel said his business did the project even before he had children and later his children helped with the events.  “They grew up on me,” he said. “Now they’re employed. They’ve got their own jobs.” 

The family business is a multi generational enterprise. Hodel said, “Believe it or not we’re in our fourth generation.  My grandpa and grandma and my dad and myself.  And I do

have a couple of kids working at the restaurant.”

Photos Courtesy of Hodel’s. Hodel’s in 2017

Hodels is a slice of Kern County history. The owners originally came to California, during the Dust Bowl era, from Oklahoma.

The location at 5917 Knudsen Drive in north Bakersfield was an unlikely business to participate in an event all the way up in the Kern Valley.

“Hodel, we’ve always been community minded,” he said. “We’ve just been a part of the community.”

The business has previously helped the overall Bakersfield community catering at church functions, ministries, Relay for Life events, and Autism and Alzheimer’s association events.

“We never really had an arm past Bakersfield.  Jeanette (Rogers-Erickson) and I were talking and I said sure sounds great, let’s do it.” 

Hodel just decided to start bringing cinnamon rolls up to the annual Heart Walks and be part of the community effort.

“Any time we have a catering in Isabella everybody fights over who gets to go. I love the people of Bakersfield. But there’s just something about the people of Lake Isabella. They’re just so friendly and kind and delightful people to be with. So it was a joy,” Hodel said.

The restaurant serves many different dishes to please average Americans.  The restaurant has banquet facilities, a buffet and sells takeout.

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