Mary Baker is up to her eyeballs in bait. That’s because at Baker’s Bait Shop, she carries live bait such as minnows, night crawlers, red worms and crickets. She also carries artificial baits of all types, as well as hooks, lead, rods, reels, lines, corks and anything else needed for fishing.
“If I don’t have it, you don’t need it,” Baker said.
Baker has been running the bait shop for so long that she doesn’t remember the exact year she and her husband, David Baker Sr., bought the family business from her father-in-law and brother-in-law.
Baker’s Bait Shop was started by Eliot Baker of Wren in 1953 as a way of taking care of himself without government assistance; he was disabled and used crutches to walk.
The Bakers used to raise their own worms until they made the mistake of using the wrong kind of meal to feed them and killed them all. Roaches were also hauled from Memphis to the shop to sell as bait.
As a side business, the Bakers would clean and repair reels. Couple those services with selling cane poles and a few novelty items, and Baker’s Bait Shop was born.
It has been hard through the years to maintain the small business, especially with the passing of David Sr. in 2008, but Baker is hanging in there.
“One of the biggest changes is the kinds of poles people want. We used to sell cane poles. Now we sell a lot of rods and reels.”
OWNER: Mary Baker
ADDRESS: 210 Boulevard Drive N., Amory
PHONE: (662) 256-5353
HOURS: Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.; then afternoons after church
The Sunday Journal spotlights a locally owned business. To nominate a business, contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Tubb/Monroe Journal