KSRW learned of the passing of Erick Schat, owner of Schat’s Bakery, yesterday at the age of 79.
In the words of Tawni Thomson, executive director of the Bishop Chamber of Commerce, Schat was a generous icon who invested heavily in the community. “He gave a lot and helped with events,” Thomson said. “He left a legacy that we hope goes on for another 100 years. It’s a sad day.”
The story of the Schat family goes back to 1893 with a line of bakers from Utrecht Holland. Jacob Schat Jr. immigrated to the United States in 1950 at the age of 17. He ended up in California, joined the Army the following year. In 1958 he sponsored his parents and three of his five siblings, including Erick who was 16 at the time, to the States.
The original bakery in Bishop was opened in the early 1900s by the Schoch family, immigrants from Vienna. Local Basque sheepherders convinced the Schoch’s to build a stone oven to bake the sheepherder bread, known to stay fresh while they were out with their flocks.
Jacob, and then Erick, carried on that tradition.
Schat and his Bishop business identified Bishop to the skiers returning to Southern California from Mammoth Mountain