Historical Timeline

1900 to 1909

Englebert and Joe Franz emigrated to the United States in 1896 to work at their uncle’s bakery in Portland, Oregon. In 1906 the Franz brothers purchase a bakery in Portland. A year later they buy their uncle’s shop, called United States Bakery. In this era, bread is delivered by horse-drawn wagons.

1910 to 1919

Franz Family Bakery expands by building a new plant in Portland at NE 11th and Flanders. Franz’s main plant is still located on the same site. In 1913 Joe Franz is born at home in the living quarters above the bakery. The former living space is now used for offices.

1920 to 1929

Franz bread is sold in paper wrappers and trucks slowly begin to replace horse-drawn wagons as delivery vehicles for Franz. In 1926 Englebert Franz develops the very first hamburger bun at the request of Yaw’s Restaurant. Today Franz Bakery supplies virtually every fast food restaurant in the Northwest with buns.

1930 to 1939

Franz Bakery begins selling bread in waxed paper wraps to preserve its freshness. This new packaging method allows Franz to increase its presence and deliver fresh bread throughout the region. In 1936 the main Franz plant is remodeled and new state-of-the art bakery equipment is added to the expanding facility.

1940 to 1949

In 1947 Franz Bakery’s plant at NE 11th and Flanders acquires state-of-the art equipment to ensure efficient production of bread that excels in quality and flavor. By investing in the latest equipment, Franz Bakery succeeds in creating one of the most modern bakeries in the United States at that time.

1950 to 1959

In 1954 Englebert Franz passes and Joe Franz is named President of the company. Franz Family Bakery marks its milestone in 1956 with a 50th Anniversary Open House, complete with a grand tour, special prizes and bread samples. Franz makes its first acquisition, Salem’s Cherry City Baking Company, in 1959.

1960 to 1969

A revolution in keeping and preserving bread is brewing and Franz changes its packaging. In 1967 waxed paper gives way to the new poly bags. After cooling, Franz products are conveyed to automatic slicing and wrapping machines. Putting bread in poly bags is the last step in the automated process.

1970 to 1979

In 1973 Franz’s main competitor, Davidson Bakery, closes. Bob Albers is hired as Vice President and General Manager of Franz in 1975. A major remodel in 1978 expands the Portland plant, which now covers five city blocks. In the mid-to-late 1970’s Franz acquires two Oregon bakeries and one bakery in Washington.

1980 to 1989

The 1980’s bring a decade of acquisition: Franz acquires Langendorf Bakery in Portland, Oregon in 1980, Interstate Bakery and Boge Bakery, both in Spokane, Washington in 1981 and 1985 respectively. Bob Albers is named President and CEO of United States Bakery in 1986. And 1988 marks the passing of Joe Franz.

1990 to 1999

In 1991 Franz acquires William’s Bakery in Eugene, Oregon and in 1994 purchases the Smith Cookie Company in McMinnville, Oregon. The popular brand of Gai’s, based in Seattle, becomes part of the Franz Family enterprise in 1997. Gai’s acquisition plays a significant role in Franz’s strategic growth plans for the future.

2000 to 2006

Franz acquires Fluhrer’s Big Loaf routes in Eureka, California. In 2002 William’s Bakery in Eugene turns 100-years old. Marc Albers (son of Bob Albers, CEO) is named President of United States Bakery in 2004. And in 2006, Franz Celebrates 100 years of “History in the Baking” (celebrated April 11, 2006).