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The History of Pepperidge Farm

The history of Pepperidge Farm is unique in American business. It was started in answer to a child’s health problem by an extraordinary woman, Margaret Rudkin. Image of Pepperidge Farm bread truck.She had no manufacturing or marketing experience and very little available capital. What she did have was:

  • Dedication
  • Imagination and
  • A desire to produce a premium quality loaf of bread

The Pepperidge Farm brand was launched from a Fairfield, CT. farmhouse kitchen in 1937 with Mrs. Rudkin baking an all-natural bread as a mail order business. Word quickly spread and she was soon selling to local stores. Within 2 months due to the growth of sales, her operation moved from her kitchen to a garage and then to an abandoned stable on the property of Pepperidge Farm (named after a large Pepperidge tree on the grounds). In 1940, Pepperidge Farm moved to new facilities in Norwalk, CT and then in 1947 moved to its first modern plant designed by Mrs. Rudkin opened on Westport Avenue in Norwalk.

As the business grew and more markets were opening up in the Mid Atlantic States, another plant was built and opened in 1949 in Downingtown, PA, followed in 1953 by a Bread, Roll, Stuffing Plant in Downers Grove, IL.

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