As CNN Business reported earlier today, a titan of the prepackaged food business, Charles Entenmann has passed away at the age of 92 due to heart complications.
According to reporter Jordan Valinsky and the Entenmann’s website,
“Entenmann's got its start in 1898 when Charles' grandfather, a German immigrant named William Entenmann, opened his first bakery in Brooklyn. Charles grew up working there and took over the business with his two brothers in 1951, turning it into a household staple by shifting away from home delivery and supplying baked goods directly to grocery stores in the 1970s, according to Entenmann's website.
The Entenmann brothers introduced the brand's see-through packaging, better to entice shoppers to sample the sweets. Under their purview, the company expanded its plant in Long Island before its 2014 closure.
The bakery has changed ownership several times since the Entenmanns sold it in 1978 for more than $200 million to the Warner-Lambert Co. Current owner Bimbo Bakeries USA, a unit of Mexican multinational Grupo Bimbo, purchased the company in 2002. Entenmann's produces more than 100 varieties of baked goods in the United States and makes 1 billion donuts annually.
Charles Entenmann was a philanthropist and regularly gave back to the community, including donations to nonprofits such as the YMCA and Seatuck Environmental Association, according to Newsday.
And although he loved what he did, he didn't eat his company's products. "I'm going to tell you something that's been pretty much a secret, most of my life anyway," his son told the newspaper. "He didn't eat Entenmann's cake ... He just wasn't a dessert guy."”
WHY IT MATTERS. Behind every great brand, there is often a great creator and in this instance Charles Entenmann as well as his grandfather, father, and brothers, all carrying the Entenmann surname, were those creators. But not all well-known brands arising from a personage or name were actually based on a real person and it sometimes takes some digging to find the truth; witness Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima and Jack of Jack-in-the-Box fame; they were all fabricated by corporations seeking to cash in from putting a face with a name.