The Bakery Born in a Kitchen Oven – Freund Baking Company

Story provided by Gladis Barker

Back in the 1850’s when Mrs. Moritz Freund baked Bohemian rye bread for her South St. Louis neighbors, she had no inkling she was starting an institution that was to become a lasting part of St. Louis tradition. Freund Olde Tyme Rye Bread – baked according to Mrs. Freund’s Old World recipe – has been part of the social history of St. Louis. One interesting fact was that Mrs. Freund oven was heated by cordwood supplied by a bearded, struggling farmer who was later to become President of the United States – Ulysses S. Grant!

Her bread was welcomed by the Union Army soldiers at Jefferson Barracks during the Civil War, and by succeeding generations of soldiers until the post was closed after World War II.

The famous Freund rye bread was present at a wide range of important social events and establishments. When the Veiled Prophet made its first visit to St. Louis in 1878, Freund bread had an honored place on the menu of the first queen. It showed up at the fabulous St. Louis World’s Fair where visitors praised the Freund bread and rolls served in every pavilion and booth. In the 1880’s and ‘90’s at the famous outdoor beer gardens, patrons feasted on hearty sandwiches made with Freund rye bread.

A familiar sight was seeing the Freund horse-drawn wagons rolling from the bakery adjoining the family home at 913 Soulard Street to deliver bread and rolls to St. Louis restaurants. The bakery remained at the Soulard location for six generations.  In 1921 the bakery was moved to a larger facility at Taylor and Chouteau and the wagons were replaced by a fleet of modern trucks which distributed the wealth of Freund ovens – bread, rolls, cakes, pies and sweet goods – to customers throughout Greater St. Louis and a nine-state area in the Midwest.

The bakery remained in the Freund family for four generations, run by sons and grandsons. In 1972, the bakery was finally taken over by an outside corporate baking organization and the bakery lost its family identity. But even though the Freund bakery name was lost, it has left an important mark on St. Louis history.

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2 Responses

  1. HELLO ,MY NAME IS JOE MARCIANTE . YOUR WEBSITE BROUGHT BACK MEMORY’S OF 1965-67 WHEN I WAS EMPLOYED BY MR, WALTER AND HENRY FREUND HERE IN ST. LOUIS ‘ . WHEN WE MADE SMALL FRUIT PIES THAT SOLD FOR TWELVE CENTS AND ALL THE THOUSANDS OF POUNDS OF FRUIT CAKE FOR SEARS ALONE, ISERVED MY APPRENTICESHIP IN 57 TO 1959 AT LICKHALTER BAKERY THAN AT 1309 FRANKLIN AVE. WHERE BAGELS WERE ALL HANDMADE AND THE FOUR BRAID [ CHALA ]—WAS REQUIRED LEARNING, THERE WAS ONLY ONE KIND OF BAGEL WHICH CONSISTED OF SALT=SUGAR=EGGS= OIL=YEAST=WATER=AND HIGH GLUTTON FLOUR [[BIG 15]]BOILED AND BAKED ON CEDAR BOARDS IN STOKER FIRED BRICK OVENS ‘ TODAY’S BAGEL’S DO NOT COMPARE . I’M AN OLD ITALIAN CHRISTIAN WHO LEARNED A LITTLE HEBREW AND HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR JEWISH PEOPLE AND CULTURE .—SHALOAM –JOSEPH MARCIANTE IN ST.LOUIS MO.

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