Richmond Baking is proud to be the oldest family-owned cookie and cracker maker in the country. Eleven generations of the Quigg family have resided in the United States--the first members immigrating from England to South Carolina in the 1740s. Eventually, in 1850, the family moved west to Richmond, Indiana. The headquarters of Richmond Baking still reside in Richmond today. The rest, as they say, is history. Read on for Richmond Baking's full story:
1855In 1855, David Hoerner opened a bakery in Richmond Indiana. By 1881, Hoerner had taken on a partner named Knopf and was operating in this brick building at 13-15 South Fifth Street. In 1902, a small group of local investors purchased the Hoerner-Knopf bakery, renaming it the Richmond Baking Company. One of those investors, William H. Quigg, became the new bakery's general manager and ran the firm until his death in 1918.
William's two sons, Eugene and Robert, were also involved in the business. At the time, the bakery produced bread, buns, doughnuts and cookies. The Richmond Baking Company horse-drawn delivery trucks could be seen up and down the streets of Richmond
1916-1920In 1916 negotiations were completed to purchase the office building of the Gaar Scott Company and two vacant lots to the north of it on North Sixth Street. Plans were in place to build a $50,000, four-story bakery in which the company could locate its cracker manufacturing facility. Another two-story building was to be erected to house the bread-baking arm of the business, and the Gaar Scott office building would be renovated to become the headquarters of the Richmond Baking Company.
The death of William Quigg in 1918 postponed these plans. William's son, Eugene Quigg, took over management of the company.
1921In early November of 1921, the factory and renovation were completed. The Richmond Baking Company moved to its new facility at 520 North Sixth Street. More than 80 years later, the firm's offices are still located in the turreted brick building, and its products are still made daily in the adjoining bakery. The move marked the beginning of a period of prosperity for the bakery under the entrepreneurial leadership of Eugene Quigg.
The Richmond Baking Co. produced many brands of crackers, cookies and breads, including Mother's, Kleen-Maid, Golden Cream, Butter Krust, Honey Boy and Cardinal Breads, Blackstone Cookies, Delishus Cake, and perhaps most notable, the Butternut Wafer and Butternut Cookie.
1930sIn this photo from the late 1930's, company employees gather near the bakery door. Judging by the worker's flour topped shoes in the lower-right corner, the break for the snapshot was a short one.
1941-1945During World War II, The Richmond Baking Company was contracted by the government to bake the biscuits included in the prepackaged "C rations" issued to every serviceman. These "ration biscuits' - healthful, whole-grain crackers - weren't exactly loved by the GI's but they got the job done!
1950sIn 1950, Eugene Quigg died and was succeeded as president by his brother, Robert Quigg. By this time the company's products had changed considerably from those of its earlier days. It no longer baked bread for home use, and was contract manufacturing products for other companies, such as Mead Johnson's diet cookie Metrecal and Beech Nut baby cookies.
1970sIn 1969, Robert Quigg died and was succeeded by his son, James R. Quigg, Jr. One of Jim Quigg's first steps as president was also one of the biggest in the company's history. Jim Quigg authorized the installation of six huge tanks for on-site storage of flour and sugar. Before 1969, the flour was purchased in 100-pound bags that had to be unloaded, transported to the bakery's upper floor, opened, and sifted individually. For a bakery that used more than 100,000 pounds of flour each day, the bulk bins were a major money saver.
1970s-1980sDuring the 1970s and '80s, the company made an important shift: In addition to making and selling its own baked goods such as cracker and cookies, Richmond Baking Co. began to bake items as ingredients for their customers' food products. These new products included graham meals for cheesecake crusts and crushed crackers for the Midwesterner's favorite pork tenderloins.
1990sRichmond Baking Co. began producing Metamucil fiber wafers for Procter & Gamble and industrial quantities of graham cracker crumbs for use in cheesecakes. The traditional Butternut Cookie was revived and began to make an annual appearance around the winter holidays.
2002In 2002, Richmond Baking Co. celebrated its 100th anniversary. The company shared its 100th-anniversary with the Teddy Bear, created in 1902 to honor Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. To pay homage to this shared celebration of American history, Richmond Baking Co. adopted Theo the Super Bear, its teddy bear cookie as a symbol. A fitting symbol for the nation's oldest family-owned cookie and cracker company.
At the company's Centennial Celebration Jim Quigg announced retirement and made his sons the new managers of the company. Son, Bill Quigg, is now president, and son, Rob Quigg, named treasurer, making the Richmond Baking Co. family-owned for four generations.
2003Richmond Baking Co. pulls Albaco Food, Inc. and Summit Food Group under one corporate umbrella. The company changes the respective names of all three business operations to Richmond Baking. A new company logo is adopted to reflect the growth and new-direction of the company.
2009Richmond Baking of Georgia was recognized with a Manufacturer of the Year Award in Georgia for corporate responsibility and workforce excellence.
2010In 2010, Richmond Baking's Richmond, Indiana facility earned an Energy Star Certification as an Energy Star Rated Building and Plant. Energy Star is the national mark of excellence in energy performance for facilities that are deemed energy efficient and have a smaller carbon footprint than others in their industry.