Entenmann's Story
You know the name.You see their products in the stores.You've eaten a lot of them,too.Maybe you've seen their factory on Fifth Avenue in Bay Shore.But you don't know anything about Entenmann's.I'd like to tell you their story.
It began in Stuttgart,Germany.William Entenmann was born there in the mid-1800s.He learned the trade of baker at his father's side in the family shop,and was determined to have his own shop one day.William and his young family came to America in 1898,and he landed a job in a bread bakery where dough was still mixed by hand.He later opened his own bakery on Rogers Avenue in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn,delivering fresh baked breads,rolls,and cakes door to door in a horsedrawn wagon.He quickly gained a reputation for quality baked goods that soon spread beyond Brooklyn. Then something happened.William's son contracted rheumatic fever. Although he survived,his doctors suggested that the family move to a better climate.William took their advice and brought them to Bay Shore,where he opened a new bakery on Main Street. It flourished and prospered,attracting such notable customers as the Vanderbilts and Morgans.William Jr. eventually took over from his father and guided Entenmann's through the Depression and World War II,with sales actually growing.By the 1950s,the company had become so well known nationally that Frank Sinatra even called every week to order the Crumb Coffee Cake!

But then things changed.William Jr.suffered a fatal heart attack in 1951.His wife and sons took over,and they realized that the company needed to change its priorities.The growth of suburban towns meant that home delivery was no longer viable,so it was phased out as Entenmann's decided to focus on supplying stores instead.This became so successful that it enabled the company to build a modern bakery on its present Fifth Avenue site in 1961.Bread production was also stopped as the focus shifted to cakes and pasteries.Business expanded into New Jersey,Connecticut,and later the entire country.
Entenmann's was purchased by Warner Lambert in 1978,and was then sold to General Foods in 1982.At its peak,the company had 7,000 employees nationwide,including 1,700 at Bay Shore.Today,the company is part of the George Weston Bakeries,the country's largest distributor of baked goods.But the company has recenty had some tough times finacially, so Weston has had to downsize at Bay Shore.600 manufatcurnig jobs have been eliminated since January 2007,and production of cakes,cookies,and doughnuts was moved to other areas.However,the Bay Shore plant does continue to make pies and danish. N. Ziino

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