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Groundhog Day

January 29, 2024
20 min. read

As we prepare to turn the calendar page over to a new month, a whimsical and peculiar holiday comes into focus. This Friday, February 2nd, is Groundhog Day! This Pennsylvania Dutch tradition involves a groundhog predicting the weather: a shadow means six more weeks of winter, while no shadow suggests an early spring.

The annual event, which was first celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in 1877, originated in Germany, where the myth was held that if small rodents glimpsed their shadow on the Christian holiday of Candlemas1, there would be another 40 days of cold and snow.2 When German immigrants later settled in Pennsylvania in the 18th century, this tradition traveled with them. At that time, they chose the groundhog as the traditional animal to make the “prediction.”

This holiday also brings to mind the 1993 film by the same name. In the movie, a TV weatherman finds himself reliving the same day, February 2nd, over and over again. Despite the initial humor and frustration at his predicament, he is eventually able to escape the endless time loop by learning some valuable life lessons. The story teaches about the importance of character growth and daily actions.

As we approach this Groundhog Day, we want to adopt a similar mindset and reflect on the past decade of achievements and milestones here at Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc. From our most popular blog posts to our favorite recipes, each year has brought its own set of memories and highlights. In this blog, we’ll take a stroll down memory lane, revisiting some of these special moments that have defined our journey.

Join us as we travel down the rabbit hole…er, groundhog hole…one February 2nd at a time. Here’s a recap of the last 10 years at Martin’s!


On This Day in 2014….

The Groundhog’s Verdict: Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter!3

Our Top Product: Martin’s Potato Bread

Our most viewed product on our website was our classic Potato Bread, proving just how much people love to use Martin’s soft, sweet, and pillowy bread for creations such as sandwiches, French toast, and more!

Our Top Recipe: Baked Ham & Cheese Sliders

These savory, cheesy sliders topped with an irresistible honey, Dijon, Worcestershire, and poppy seed glaze were all the rage back in 2014, and they still are! Folks can’t get enough of these small-but-mighty sandwiches made with Martin’s Party Potato Rolls.

Our Top Blog: N/A

In early 2014, our website did not yet have a blog. However, in December of this year, we launched a brand-new website complete with a shiny, new blog. We published our first-ever blog post on December 26th, 2014, titled Welcome to Martin’s Blog. (And of course, it began with the obligatory coding phrase, “Hello World!”)

Welcome to Martin’s Blog

Our Top Video: Our History and Our Products

This was our first-ever video published to YouTube, on June 3rd, 2011. As of 2014, we only had five videos on our YouTube channel, and this one was the most viewed by far. As our primary long-form content detailing our company’s history, we utilized this video on our channel and across our website and social media sites as a way to acquaint people with our brand. It also plays in Martin’s Visitor Center: The Golden Roll!

Recent Social Post: Snow Day Photos

February was a cold and snowy month here in Pennsylvania! On February 3rd, 2014 (the day after Groundhog Day), we saw several inches of snow fall at our bakery headquarters in Chambersburg, PA. On Facebook, we posted several photos of the snowy scene including these fun shots of some employees building a snowman while on break!

Other Stats & Fun Facts:

  • Here’s a look at our website pre- and post-launch!
  • At this point in time, we had 11,765 Facebook followers; 1,104 Twitter followers; and 329 Instagram followers.
  • Our marketing campaign at this time was called Make Your Martin’s Famous and we had a big focus on the Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Atlanta markets.
  • In 2013-2014, we began attending food festivals, such as the South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF), which occurs each February.


On This Day in 2015….

The Groundhog’s Verdict: Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter!3

Our Top Product: Sandwich Potato Rolls

This year saw an increase in visits to our Sandwich Potato Rolls product page, showing why it’s ranked as the #1 Potato Roll in the U.S! Customers everywhere love these classic sandwich buns for everything from cheeseburgers and BBQ to fried chicken!

Our Top Recipe: Colombian-Style Hot Dogs

This unique hot dog recipe was our most viewed in the month of February. The all-beef hot dogs are grilled, then topped with a trio of sauces—a sweet pineapple sauce, a mayo-ketchup blend, and a savory garlic mayo. Serve on Martin’s Long Potato Rolls topped with crushed potato chips and enjoy!

Our Top Blog: Heart Health

During this time, we were in the middle of a health-themed marketing campaign titled Go for YOUR Goal! with January focusing on New Year’s resolutions, February on heart health, and March on nutrition. This February kick-off blog highlighted some health statistics and featured a guest article from Summit Health.

Heart Health

Our Top Video: Chicken, Hummus, & Avocado Sandwich*

*While our history video was still ranked at number one this year, we did start to post more frequently to YouTube in 2015, adding fun recipe tutorials like this Chicken, Hummus, & Avocado Sandwich Recipe and this BBQ Flank Steak Recipe.

Recent Social Post: Be Ready for the Big Game!

The American professional football championship game frequently occurs on or around this time every year, as was the case here. To get Martin’s fans excited for the “Big Game,” and all the yummy food that it brings, we posted the below image to Facebook!

Other Fun Facts:

  • This year, our overarching campaign theme was called Taste the Difference!
  • In the summer of this year, we ran a special contest called Martin’s All-American Road Trip where we asked fans to submit pictures of places they traveled with Martin’s Potato Rolls & Bread!
  • We sponsored (and attended) a number of events in the Philadelphia and Chicago markets, including the Philly Flower Show and also sponsored the Chicago Cubs!
  • Around Thanksgiving time, we held a virtual charity contest where fans could vote for their favorite charity out of a preselected list for Martin’s to donate to.
  • 2015 saw the completion of a brand new corporate office and major bakery expansion at Martin’s headquarters in Chambersburg, PA.


On This Day in 2016….

The Groundhog’s Verdict: No shadow in sight—Phil predicts an early Spring!3

Our Top Product: Sandwich Potato Rolls

Having déjà vu? Don’t worry—Our Sandwich Potato Rolls are just that good that it’s worth repeating. After all, they are the #1 Potato Roll in the U.S!

Our Top Recipe: Spinach Artichoke Dip

This savory spread made with chopped spinach, marinated artichokes, cream cheese, parmesan, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and garlic powder makes a delectable dip alongside sliced and toasted Martin’s rolls, such as Hoagie, Dinner, and Party.

Our Top Blog: Game Day Appetizers

This blog was published on February 1st, just one week before the Big Game. In it, we shared some popular game day appetizer recipes such as Bacon & Caramelized Onion Crostini, Smoked Mozzarella Dip, Pizza Dip, and the Spinach Artichoke Dip shown above!

Game Day Appetizers

Our Top Video: Happy Groundhog Day!

In honor of this year’s holiday, we put together a cute little video animation of a Martin’s Party Potato Roll searching for its shadow!

Recent Social Post: Groundhog Day 2016

In addition to the above video, we also posted a similar graphic to social media to announce to our followers the groundhog’s verdict: Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this year. (P.S., Check out the fun fact in the caption of the post!)

Other Fun Facts:

  • On April 20th of this year, Martin’s reached 100K likes on Facebook!
  • 2016 was a Leap Year! Check out this cute Leap Day blog from Martin’s.
  • During Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week, we posted a series of videos to social media, sharing examples of kind acts we can all do to spread a little joy. View a sample here.
  • This year, Martin’s foodservice sales were beginning to pick up, so we added a new foodservice section to our website!
  • We ran two different influencer marketing campaigns and received plenty of yummy recipe ideas!
  • Our overall theme for the year was “Make it Martin’s!”


On This Day in 2017….

The Groundhog’s Verdict: Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter!3

Our Top Product: Old-Fashioned Real Butter Bread

2017 was a year all about Butter Bread! This brand-new product (at the time) launched on January 2nd of this year and took the market by storm. The product launch went exceptionally well and it is still a top-selling product to this day! This traditional white bread loaf is made with REAL butter and other high-quality ingredients—just like Grandma used to make.

Our Top Recipe: Grandma’s Old-Fashioned French Toast

We perfected this French toast recipe with Martin’s Old-Fashioned Real Butter Bread especially in mind, as a way to showcase its exceptional qualities. The recipe itself is simple, yet refined, and continues to be one of our most popular recipes to this day.

Our Top Blog: Grandma’s Old-Fashioned French Toast

The top blog for February 2nd was actually our Game Day Sliders recipes (popular with those prepping for the Big Game). However, our most popular blog for full month of February was a step-by-step guide for our gourmet French Toast recipe (listed above) using Martin’s Old-Fashioned Real Butter Bread. It was a follow-up to our Butter Bread Introduction blog which revealed our new product to the world!

Grandma’s Old-Fashioned French Toast

Our Top Video: Martin’s Old-Fashioned Real Butter Bread

Like we said…2017 was the year of Butter Bread! This was our 30-second commercial introducing Butter Bread to our fans, which we used in TV and digital advertising and on social media to help spread the word. Our goal was to convey the warmth and nostalgia that comes from freshly baked bread—the kind you would find in a local bakery or a cozy family kitchen.

Recent Social Post: Butter Bread

This top post from January 30, 2017, reminding our Facebook followers to try our new Butter Bread, received a lot of engagement, with 1.4K reactions, and over 100 comments and shares! What an exciting way to kick off this new product!

Other Fun Facts:


On This Day in 2018….

The Groundhog’s Verdict: Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter!3

Our Top Product: Sandwich Potato Rolls

This year, Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls dethroned Butter Bread and again reigned supreme as the most viewed product on our website (and highest volume in sales).

Our Top Recipe: Turkey Bacon Ranch Sliders

Turkey, bacon, and ranch (or chicken, bacon, and ranch) is such a classic sandwich combo! The same can be said for these delicious oven-baked sliders made with Martin’s Slider Potato Rolls. To make, simply layer the ingredients on the bottom half of the buns, cover with the top half, and brush with a garlic, butter, parsley, and sesame seed glaze. Bake covered for 20-25 minutes until warm and toasty. Great for Game Day or any day!

Our Top Blog: 60+ Tailgating Slider Recipes

This blog was originally published in fall of 2017, just in time for tailgating season, but it resurfaced again in preparation for the Big Game. As the title indicates, the article contains over 60 slider recipes that are perfect for game day meals! Split up into categories, you’ll find mouth-watering ideas such as Crock Pot BBQ Brisket Sandwich with Jalapeno Cole Slaw, Cheeseburger Sliders, and the Turkey Bacon Ranch Sliders listed above.

60+ Tailgating Slider Recipes

Our Top Video: New Year’s with Jim Martin

Despite being published more than a month prior, this was still our most-viewed YouTube video on February 2nd, 2018. The 8-minute long interview with Jim Martin, former president of Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, details some of Mr. Martin’s favorite memories from 2017 and his hopes for the future of the company. Take a deep dive into the interview questions in the corresponding blog post!

Recent Social Post: Game Day 2018

This year, the Big Game took place on February 4th. To get fans excited, we posted this head-to-head recipe comparison, with each of the recipes representing one of the competing teams in the championship. Which recipe would you choose?

Other Fun Facts:


On This Day in 2019….

The Groundhog’s Verdict: No shadow: Phil predicted an early spring!3

Our Top Product: Sandwich Potato Rolls

Having déjà vu? Don’t worry—Our Sandwich Potato Rolls are just that good that it’s worth repeating. After all, they are the #1 Potato Roll in the U.S!

Our Top Recipe: Submarine Dressing

This herb-infused vinaigrette makes the perfect dressing for your favorite sub or sandwich. And clearly, our fans think so too! Check out the simple recipe and try it for yourself!

Our Top Blog: Grandma’s Old-Fashioned French Toast

In 2019, our French Toast blog resurfaced as the most-viewed content on our website! Looking at the sheer volume of searches for this recipe, it’s obvious that many people love to cook French toast at home, whether for special occasions or as a weekly Sunday brunch. Be sure to give it a try.

Grandma’s Old-Fashioned French Toast

Our Top Videos: Jim Martin’s Dough Demonstration

In February of 2019, this was our most viewed YouTube video. The 8-minute demonstration by Jim Martin, former president and current executive chair of the board, details the process that he and his parents (the company’s founders) used to make potato rolls back in the 1950s. The video was recorded in the actual garage-turned-bakery where the company began…and which is now part of Martin’s Visitor Center: The Golden Roll. Coming full circle, this video currently plays inside of the museum as part of the tour process to show visitors this important part of our history!

Recent Social Post: Chicken Enchilada Bites

These chicken enchilada bites were made using flattened slices of Butter Bread, pressed into mini muffin cups and baked to form mini bread bowls. The cups are then filled with a mixture of taco-seasoned slow-cooker chicken, enchilada sauce, canned tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, and green chilies, and topped off with shredded cheese, sour cream, fresh tomatoes, and cilantro. Try them out for your next game day party or group get-together!

Other Fun Facts:

  • The “Big Game” was on February 3rd this year. Leading up to it, we hosted a sweepstakes campaign called Martin’s Ultimate Game Plan where fans could enter to win special prizes.
  • We added an international trade show to our list of sponsored events and participated in the Gulfood Show in Dubai for the first time!
  • In October of this year, we officially launched our complete line of Martin’s Swirl Breads!


On This Day in 2020….

The Groundhog’s Verdict: No shadow: Phil predicted an early spring!3

Our Top Product: Sandwich Potato Rolls

Having déjà vu? Don’t worry—Our Sandwich Potato Rolls are just that good that it’s worth repeating. After all, they are the #1 Potato Roll in the U.S!

Our Top Recipe: Submarine Dressing

For the second year in a row, this recipe was trending on February 2nd! Maybe it was all those folks searching for a way to jazz up their Italian-Style Hoagies to serve during the Big Game (which took place on Groundhog Day in 2018).

Our Top Blog: Grandma’s Old-Fashioned French Toast

This step-by-step recipe blog remained number one for another year in a row. Despite being such a popular brunch item, the measurements and ratios for French toast can be difficult to remember, especially when cooking for a crowd. That’s why this simple recipe is number one! The short ingredients list and easy-to-follow instructions make it perfect for beginners and pros alike. Hopefully it stands the test of time!

Grandma’s Old-Fashioned French Toast

Our Top Video: Give Martin’s Potato Rolls a Try!

This 30-second commercial is a shortened version of our longer history video (listed above under 2014), published around the same time. The short-form version was used in online advertising during this period, to introduce potential customers to the Martin’s company and brand.

Recent Social Post: Martin’s in Texas

In 2020, Groundhog Day coincided with the launch of Martin’s Potato Rolls into the Austin and Houston, Texas market. As you can see by the post below, we were so excited to begin that our rolls even hit the shelves a few days early! Today, this market continues to be very fast-growing and popular for the Martin’s brand.

Other Fun Facts:

  • 2020 was also a leap year. Congrats to all those born on February 29th!
  • This year saw the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S. Due to a variety of factors, Martin’s quickly pivoted many of our marketing campaigns and added on new social endeavors to support our customer base during their time of need.
  • Martin’s issued a video scholarship to college students in the spring of this year. The top videos were selected to be featured on Martin’s YouTube channel.
  • We developed a series of recipe videos titled Martin’s Makes beginning in October this year.


On This Day in 2021….

The Groundhog’s Verdict: Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, meaning 6 more weeks of winter.3

Our Top Product: Sandwich Potato Rolls

Having déjà vu? Don’t worry—Our Sandwich Potato Rolls are just that good that it’s worth repeating. After all, they are the #1 Potato Roll in the U.S!

Our Top Recipe: Crispy Baked Shrimp with Secret Sauce*

*While our Submarine Dressing and Old-Fashioned French Toast recipes were the top overall this month, another noteworthy contender is the Crispy Baked Shrimp with Secret Sauce. This drool-worthy creation is a nod to the restaurant favorite “Bang Bang Shrimp.” In our version, the shrimp are breaded with toasted Martin’s Potatobred Stuffing, pulsed into breadcrumbs, and then baked until crispy. They are served with a “secret” dipping sauce made of sweet chili sauce, sriracha, mayonnaise, and honey.

Our Top Blog: 10 Restaurant-Worthy Seafood Dishes to Cook at Home*

Perhaps as a result of the pandemic, or possibly as a way to save money, 2021 saw an increase in at-home dining. To account for this trend, we put together a guide with easy-to-make seafood recipes, since that is one of the food types more frequently ordered while dining out. Check out the blog for popular features like the Lobster Mac & Cheese, Scallop BLT, or the above shrimp recipe!

10 Restaurant-Worthy Seafood Dishes to Cook at Home

Our Top Video: How to Make an Oklahoma Fried Onion Burger with George Motz

As part of our Smash Burger Showcase blog, we asked friend and burger expert, George Motz to demonstrate one of his favorite burger recipes using Martin’s Potato Rolls. The resulting video, originally published to Martin’s YouTube channel in September 2020, quickly went viral and skyrocketed to over one million views within the first month!

Recent Social Post: Treat Yourself Blog

On February 1st (the day before Groundhog Day), we published a blog called 7 “Treat Yourself” Recipes for Every Day of the Week, and shared the link to our social media channels, which our followers seemed to love! The intention was three-fold: 1) to find indulgent recipes that would cheer up those folks still stuck inside, 2) to battle the winter blues with some heartwarming meals, and 3) to share some fancy recipes that could suit the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, whether dining alone or with a companion.

Other Fun Facts:

  • Apparently we had another snow day at the Martin’s bakery the day before Groundhog Day!
  • In March, we highlighted four amazing fried chicken restaurants in our Chicken Sandwich Showcase!
  • We hired our friend Nick Lepore (AKA Burger Buff) to scope out new restaurants using Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls and Bread for their menu creations. You can view the full playlist here.
  • This was the first year for our annual back-to-school campaign, Martin’s Lunchbox Heroes!
  • On December 3rd of this year, Martin’s held a special ground-breaking ceremony at the company headquarters in Chambersburg, PA to celebrate a major expansion to the current baking facility.


On This Day in 2022….

The Groundhog’s Verdict: Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, meaning 6 more weeks of winter.3

Our Top Product: Sandwich Potato Rolls

Having déjà vu? Don’t worry—Our Sandwich Potato Rolls are just that good that it’s worth repeating. After all, they are the #1 Potato Roll in the U.S!

Our Top Recipe: Smash Burger Grilled Cheese*

*While the top two recipes remained the same, the third most popular one was our Smash Burger Grilled Cheese—a delicious patty melt featuring a 4-oz. smash burger, caramelized onions, and a special burger sauce, all between two griddled slices of Martin’s Potato Bread.

Our Top Blog: All About the Multi-Pot*

*Our most recent blog post at this point in time was our Multi-Pot feature, part of our Ultimate Game Plan campaign, where fans could enter to win either a multi-cooker or an air fryer appliance in celebration of the Big Game.

All About the Multi-Pot (FAQs, Tips, Recipes, and More!)

Our Top Video: Smash Burger Grilled Cheese

This recipe tutorial accompanied the above recipe (and related blog) as part of our Monthly Grilled Cheese series this year. This recipe video continues to be a favorite along with runner-up, Martin’s Makes | Cinnamon Roll Bread Bake.

Recent Social Post: Chambersburg Ice Fest

For the past several years, Martin’s has participated in a local event called the Chambersburg Ice Fest, where sponsors can have their choice of design sculpted into a block of ice to help support the community fundraiser. Check out our 2022 design below!

Other Fun Facts:

  • In February and March of this year, we debuted a grilled cheese-themed campaign called Melt with Martin’s!
  • Our quarterly blog series this year was burgers! Check out the last installment (and a recap of the series) here: Seasonal Burger: Winter.
  • In September of this year, we hosted a Swirl Bread campaign called Swirl Into Something Sweet!
  • Martin’s NEW Sweet Party & Sweet Dinner Potato Rolls launched in October 2022!
  • On December 31st of this year, Martin’s sponsored the first-ever New Year’s Eve Potato Roll Drop in Chambersburg, PA!


On This Day in 2023….

The Groundhog’s Verdict: Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, meaning 6 more weeks of winter.3

Our Top Product: Potato Bread

Wowee! Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls were kicked out of the #1 spot on this day by Martin’s Potato Bread (by merely 7 page views)! This classic product of Martin’s has been picking up steam over the years and continues to be a top selling product.

Our Top Recipe: Sheet Pan Burgers*

*With French Toast and Submarine Dressing still battling it out over the top spot, this recipe for Sheet Pan Burgers came in at number three. These pull-apart burger sliders on Martin’s Slider Potato Rolls are a great Game Day or party recipe!

Our Top Blog: Eggs 101*

*Second behind Grandma’s Old-Fashioned French Toast (with a whopping 112K views this month!) was our Eggs 101 blog. This infographic and cooking guide details all the different ways to cook eggs, from scrambled and fried, to poached, boiled, and basted. The tips and techniques offer a helpful cheat sheet whether you’re a beginner or an expert.

Eggs 101

Our Top Video: Introducing…Martin’s NEW Sweet Dinner & Party Potato Rolls

This teaser video, published in October 2022, was used to kick off our Sweet Mini Moments campaign, which supported the launch of our NEW Sweet Dinner & Party Potato Rolls!

Recent Social Post: Hometown MVP

The “Big Game” was a bit later last year, but on this day in 2023, we posted a carousel of hometown-inspired game day recipes to celebrate our Hometown MVP Sweepstakes and to get fans ready for their upcoming football watch parties!

Other Fun Facts:

  • Our Game Day sweepstakes this year was called Martin’s Hometown MVP.
  • This year saw another rendition of our spring grilled cheese campaign, Melt with Martin’s!
  • In early spring, we hosted another video scholarship for college students, this time to come up with ideas for a new Sweet Rolls commercial!
  • Our annual summer campaign, Martin’s Summer Fun Season, partnered with Universal Studios for the first time to give away park tickets to the lucky winners!
  • In August, we highlighted four incredible hot dog restaurants (and Martin’s customers) in our Hot Dog Showcase!
  • Our team crafted and curated 30 delicious tailgating slider recipes using Martin’s Sweet Dinner & Party Potato Rolls, in what we called “Slider September.”


What’s Coming Up in 2024?

This year, as we await the groundhog’s verdict, we look ahead to what’s approaching in the year to come. Here at Martin’s, we’re looking forward for many upcoming initiatives and we can’t wait to share them with you all!

Here’s a teaser of what’s next:

  • 2024 is another leap year! Check out our Leap Day Wish List blog post for ideas on how to spend your extra day. J
  • This year, It’s All About The Bun! That’s our new slogan for 2024 and you can expect to see and hear more about Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls & Bread and why we think they’re truly the best!
  • You may have noticed our mascot, Frannie (pictured above), here and there over the years. Well, this year, we’re giving her a fresh new vibe and bringing her front and center. Stay tuned for an all new blog post about her towards the end of February!


Thanks for sticking with us all these years and for your continued love and support! Here’s to an exciting year ahead!


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