Franz Celebrates its 100th Anniversary in 2006
There's nothing better than the aroma of freshly-baked bread just out of the oven. That's why people living in Portland, Oregon have been drawn to the corner of NE 11th and Flanders for the past 100 years. It's still the place to get a whiff of the fresh-from-the oven smell - courtesy of Franz Bakery.
After all these years, the famous bread production line, right under the giant spinning loaf of Franz Bread that Portlanders grew up with, has achieved the status of a local landmark.
Engelbert Franz and his brother Joseph bought the NE 11th Street bakery location in 1906 and quickly grew the company to one of the busiest bakeries in Portland. In 1954, after Engelbert passed away, his son Joe Franz took over and, subsequently, the company evolved into one of the most modern baking operations in the United States.
Passers-by who peer through the Franz facility's windows still marvel at the hundreds of thousands of loaves of bread and buns making their way down a long, winding wire conveyer track for cooling, slicing and bagging - just as they did after the turn of the last century. For generations, school children have taken the famous bread tour, learned how bread was made and still sing the celebrated jingle, "Franz Bread, the good bread, flavor beyond compare!"
Today, Franz owns and operates facilities all around the Northwest including Portland, Springfield/Eugene and McMinnville in Oregon; Spokane and Seattle in Washington. The combined total output of these facilities is approximately 185 million pounds of bread per year, and millions and millions of pounds of other baked goods. "Quite an achievement for a prominent Northwest company," said Marc Albers, President of Franz Family Bakeries.
Due to increased consumer demand, Franz recently invested in refurbishing one of the oldest bread lines at the Portland bakery and has resumed producing bread there. The 20,000 square-foot bread production line, still in use today, is the site of one of the original Franz Family Bakery facilities.