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Throwback Thursday – Miami, FL; 1956

June 11, 2015
2 min. read

This past Monday we headed to Miami, Florida, on Martin’s All-American Road Trip! Today, for this week’s Throwback Thursday post, we thought we’d share some of the Martin family pictures from when they visited South Florida quite a few years ago.

The pictures below are of a very young Jim Martin (Martin’s current President) in 1956, and then a grown-up Jim Martin, with his wife and son, Donna and Tony (Martin’s current Executive Vice President), in 1971. The pictures were taken at a place called Parrot Jungle in Miami, Florida, and those are some beautiful macaws sitting on Jim and Donna’s shoulders!

Meanwhile…back in Chambersburg in 1956…

Neither the Martin’s Family Restaurant nor the Chambersburg Bakery were even a thought yet in 1956! At that time, Lloyd and Lois Martin, Jim Martin’s father and mother, were working out of their garage (which they had turned into a bakery one year earlier) in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and were selling their baked goods at farmers markets. Their potato rolls and bread were already becoming very popular!

Just two years earlier, in 1954, Lloyd had been working at the Wenger Bakery, for his father-in-law, Laban Wenger. Lloyd had dreams of expanding and of starting his own bakery and was debating telling his father-in-law about it. When he did finally tell his father-in-law his thoughts, Laban misunderstood Lloyd’s sharing of his ideas and dreams, thought Lloyd was telling him that he was resigning, and so Laban actually hired a man to replace him. When Lloyd showed up to work the next Monday, Laban was surprised.

“Good morning, Lloyd. Why are you here?” said Laban.

“I’m here to work, of course,” Lloyd replied.

Laban apologetically said, “Oh, I’m so sorry! When you told me all about your big plans, I thought you were saying that you were quitting…so I hired someone else for your job!”

Whoops! So Lloyd took the only space he had, his one-car garage, and converted it into a bakery…and thus began Martin’s bakery in 1955. Family relationships were always important, and this misunderstanding didn’t dampen the closeness of the families (Lloyd and Lois Martin actually lived right next door to Laban and Ruth Wenger, Lois’s parents, for several decades), and so Lloyd and Lois Martin drove their baked goods to farmers markets outside of the Chambersburg area so they wouldn’t compete with the Wenger Bakery.

So that’s a little piece of our history, how Martin’s began. This “little misunderstanding” helped to start Martin’s bakery, and who would’ve guessed back then that by the year 2015 Martin’s Potato Rolls would be “the #1 branded hamburger rolls in the United States”?

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