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From Cupcakes to Comfort: Weil-McLain's Enduring Legacy Powers 45-Year Residential and Culinary Odyssey

Loretta Oswald and father

For over four decades, Loretta Oswald’s home in Bath, Penn., has been powered by a Weil-McLain oil-fired hot water boiler, a testament to the brand’s unwavering durability and performance. Loretta, a former owner of Oswald Catering & Bakery Services, shares a remarkable tale of how her Weil-McLain unit stood as a steadfast companion through both residential living and a bustling commercial bakery and catering business.

In 1978, Loretta’s father, an experienced professional in heating and plumbing, alongside her husband, installed a Weil-McLain P-66 Oil-fired cast iron residential boiler as they constructed their Cape Cod-style house, complete with 14 rooms and 2 ½ baths. The initial design accommodated their family needs, but as life unfolded, so did their ambitions.

The Oswald’s home morphed into a hub of culinary creativity, and they installed a commercial kitchen in the lower level of the home. With the birth of their bakery business, Oswald Catering & Bakery Services, they found themselves crafting an astonishing 7,200 cupcakes a day, along with various pies and baked goods distributed across multiple states. The demands were substantial, yet their Weil-McLain unit was unyielding.

“When we built our home, my father selected a Weil-McLain system for its great reputation,” said Oswald. “Together with my husband, they installed this cast iron unit, and it turned out to be a great choice indeed.”

Manufactured by Weil-McLain from February 1974 to April 1984, the Weil-McLain P-66 system provided both domestic hot water and heat for the Oswald’s ever-expanding residence, maintaining optimal temperatures that adhered to the stringent licensing requirements of their commercial bakery. The house was always warm, and hot water was a constant and vital component of their business operations.

With a bustling basement kitchen equipped with commercial ovens and walk-in coolers, the bakery and catering endeavors thrived. Loretta and her team made shoofly pies, chocolate cream cheese cupcakes and other delectable treats that garnered a loyal following.

“You wouldn’t believe how many baked goods and delicious meals we created here with the bakery and catering business,” Oswald reminisces. “We served weddings, company picnics and clambakes, residential events and drop-offs. All these orders required a lot of water to wash, prepare and cook all that food.

“After we were done with the job or jobs, all the used equipment, from steam pans and silverware to dishes, pots and pans, came back to be washed and repacked for the next job and that also required a tremendous amount of water,” Oswald added.

Now, after four and a half decades of relentless service, Loretta and her family are considering a replacement for their Weil-McLain system, acknowledging its eventual wear and tear due to the extraordinary workload it bore. However, the decision to stay loyal to the brand is unwavering.

“We definitely got our money’s worth and then some. We are hoping to replace the system with another Weil-McLain unit soon,” Oswald enthusiastically shares.

As Loretta’s story illustrates, the Weil-McLain cast iron boiler not only provided a reliable source of comfort for a growing family home but also proved itself in the most demanding of commercial settings. From residential warmth to commercial success, Weil-McLain’s enduring quality and performance have left an indelible mark on the Oswald family’s journey.


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