It’s a sad day for kosher pastry and cake lovers: after nearly a century of operations, the Entenmann’s factory on Long Island is shutting its doors.
“I’m going to miss going to work,” Joseph Fiorento, 76, of Bay Shore, told Newsday. Fiorentino started working at the factory in 1954 and was laid off in August when the factory closed. In 2004, to recognize 40 years of service, the Entenmann’s family gave him an engraved watch with his name to celebrate.
William Entenmann opened his first bakery in 1898 on Rogers Ave. in Flatbush, Brooklyn. His son moved the family operations to a bakery on Main Street in Bay shore in 1924.
Entenmann’s revolutionized the way baked goods were packed. In 1959, William Entenmann’s grandsons and his daughter developed a transparent box to display their goods — the idea was that people would be more likely to buy the product if they could inspect the quality themselves.
In 1961, the Entenmann’s opened their factory on the Bay Shore’s Fifth Ave, which employed 1,500 workers at its height in the 1990s. The company’s baked goods were certified kosher in the 1980s.
“Entenmann’s hired generations of local families,” Susanne Ankner, 56, said to Newsday. “Most people would say they were all grateful to have that job because it was a good-paying job and people were well provided for.”
On August 13, the Bay Shore factory stopped production.
“The bakery was closed because it can no longer effectively compete in the market,” said David Marguiles, spokesman for Bimbo Bakeries USA, which bought Entenmann’s in 2009. Rising taxes, fuel prices, and electricity costs in Long Island forced the closure.
But don’t fret too much — your local grocery stores will most likely still stock Entenmann’s kosher goodies, most likely from the 75 other manufacturing facilities nationwide.