Tehachapi's very own authentic German bakery will celebrate its 15th anniversary April 12.

Kohnen's Country Bakery first opened its doors in 2004, but its traditions, recipes and practices date all the way back to 1683.

When owners Colleen and Thomas Kohnen opened the local bakery, they intended to run it on a small scale.

"We had a business before, the same business, in Ojai, and it was huge. I didn't want it to be huge again because I knew how much work it is," said Colleen.

The bakery has become a popular favorite of local folks and tourists alike, and has since expanded to include a dining space where patrons can feast on sandwiches made with fresh-baked bread and handcrafted soups served in bowls of bread.

Stopping by for a bite to eat after completing a bicycle ride has become a tradition for Therese Luther and Greg Cunningham.

"When we started cycling, every ride that we take has to end here," Luther said. "Even if we go two blocks, we have to stop here and end our ride, or if we go 50 miles, we stop here. In other words, we can't go past it."

The three top favorite items that Kohnen's struggles to keep in stock are their eclairs, lemon bars and zucchini bread.

"We can't keep those in stock," Colleen said. "We do what we can to keep the quality up and keep it (the bakery) going."

Currently, Kohnen's employs a staff of 28, including six bakers, and is open seven days a week.

"The bakers get here at 2 a.m. and we close at 6 p.m.," Colleen said.

Asked the secret to their success, Colleen said, "You have to have the loyalty of the locals to make it work."

Kim Ross of Tehachapi says she has been coming to Kohnen's for years.

"I love the food and I love the atmosphere," Ross said. "On any given day, depending on the time of the year, I will get a sandwich. My newest thing now is their soups. This is a really nice place to get soup during the wintertime, because we never really had that up here."

On April 12, the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce will join Kohnen's Country Bakery, cafe and grocery for a special presentation at 3:55 p.m. to commemorate its 15 years in business.

To celebrate the milestone, customers who drop by and wish Kohnen's a happy anniversary on April 12 will receive a 15 percent discount. In addition, the public is invited to participate in a drawing by texting the word "ANNIVERSARY" to 661-888-4938 by April 11 for a chance to win a $115 gift certificate. The winner will be announced during the Chamber's presentation.

Kohnen's Country Bakery is located at 125 W. Tehachapi Blvd. For more information, call 822-3350 or visit kohnens.com.