1914 - A Fresh Start
Philip Baur, cofounder of Tasty Baking Company, was born to bake. His father owned the Bauer Brothers Bakery in Pittsburgh, and young Philip eagerly learned the basics of snack making - great taste, good value, and most importantly fresh ingredients. When his Dad sold the Pittsburgh bakery, Baur joined forces with Herbert Morris, an egg salesman, They had a fresh idea: individually wrapped snack cakes, baked and delivered fresh daily. On February 25, 1914 with $50,000 they raised from family members they founded Tasty Baking Company.
Philadelphia Here We Come
When Baur's Dad sold his business, part of the deal was that no member of the Baur family could open a bakery within 100 miles of Pittsburgh, so Philip and his partner, Herbert Morris, set their sights on the bustling town of Philadelphia.
They walked the streets of Philadelphia searching for the right building to house their bakery. Finally, after 3 long days, they found it on Sedgley Avenue in the city's Germantown section.
There were challenges from the start. Philadelphia was more humid than Pittsburgh, so the icing wouldn't thicken the way it had back home. But soon, the first cakes were rolling off the assembly line.
It's All In the Name
The cakes were a hit! Now all Philip and Herbert needed was a name. Herbert's wife Willavene solved that problem when after biting in to one of the cakes she declared "What a tasty cake!" Soon after, Herbert Morris was struck with inspiration and sketched out a logo for the new name. (Why he chose to spell Kake with a K is still a TASTY mystery) His design has remained pretty much the same ever since.
On the very first day of business Tasty Baking Company sold $28 worth of snack cakes at a dime each. By the end of the first week the company had made $222. At years end, sales reached $300,000!
How Tastykakes got around in the early days....the trademark Tastykake horse and wagon, a familiar sight on the streets of Philadelphia. Horses were vital to the company's success, and they were given great care by the drivers. The last horse was retired in 1941.
1920's - Sweet Success
Tasty Baking Company quickly outgrew its home on Sedgley Avenue, and in 1922 moved to Hunting Park Avenue where it would remain for almost ninety years. The Hunting Park bakery was state of the art for it's time and included such technical wonders as a gravity fed ingredient system.
With more sophisticated equipment Baur and Morris experimented with new kinds of products. First came the junior and then...
1927's - The Krimpet is Born
The Krimpet was originally a finger shaped cake with a thick layer of icing, but when the bakers tried to pick up the cake it was so moist it fell apart between their fingers. Someone recommended that the bakers "crimp it" it worked, and so did they name.
1930's - Pie-oneers!
In the early thirties Baur and Morris came up with their most innovative product yet: pies individually wrapped to fit in lunch boxes. No one had ever seen or tasted anything like them, and they were soon a staple in lunch boxes and brown bags around the city.
1931 - Kandy Kake is King
In 1931 Tastykake introduced the Tandy Kake, an irresistible combination of white cake, layered with soft peanut butter in a delicious milk chocolate coating. Tandy Kakes later became known as Kandy Kakes, and went on to become the most popular Tastykake.
1940's - Bring a Little Taste of Home
During World War II Tastykake showed it's stars and stripes. Two hundred and three employees of the Tasty Baking Company served overseas, but that wasn't all the company contributed. Tens of thousands of Krimpets and Tandy Kakes were shipped to Europe and Asia, giving hungry soldiers from the Philadelphia area a sweet moment away from the hardships of war and a little taste of home.
1950's - Snacking with the Stars
America had won the war, but by the 1950s something was conquering America: television. Tastykake embraced the new technology, bringing popular movie and TV personalities like Joe E. Brown, Betty White and Shari Lewis in front of the camera to spread the word about Krimpets, Kandy Kakes and Pies.
The stars that Tastykake fans loved best were from sports; a legacy that continues to this day. Through the years, Tastykake has teamed up with the great Philadelphia sports franchises - Phillies, Eagles and Flyers, as well as legendary teams beyond Philadelphia like the New York Yankees, The Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
1960's - Beyond the Bakery
In 1961, the Tasty Baking Company went public and with in the next four years sales nearly doubled to $40 million. With Tastykakes flying off the shelves, the company started looking beyond the bakery for investment opportunities. The company bought a cobbler company in Arkansas, a potato chip company in Pennsylvania and Buckeye Biscuit, a baking company in Ohio. They got into the graphic arts supply business and even bought the Laramie toy company. Some ventures worked and others didn't, but by the end of the 1960s Tasty Baking Company was making great snacks.
1980's - Driving Forward
By The 80's Tastykake was no longer just a Philly phenomenon. Improved distribution had made it possible to get fresh delicioius cakes from New England to Florida and as far west as Ohio.
Another thing that has kept the company driving forward are the independent owner operators, who since 1986 sell and distribute Tastykakes to grocery stores and other retail outlets. Now when you see one of those famous Tastykake trucks you'll know it?s an entrepreneur on the move.
2009 - Moving to the Navy Yard
When it was decided that the Huntington Park bakery had seen it's day, Tastykake searched high and low for a new Philadelphia location and settled on the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia - There the current state of the art bakery was built.
In 2011 Tasty Baking merged with Flowers Foods, one of the largest baking companies in the U.S., and it now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Flowers Foods. Joining with Flowers has allowed Tastykake to bring Philadelphia's favorite snack cakes to retail stores around the country, introducing millions of Americans to one of Philadelphia's best loved treats.