Summer 2019 Catalyst
Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls and Bread are the buns and bread of choice for celebrity chefs, international restaurants like Shake Shack, and households all over the eastern United States. In fact, Martin’s Sandwich Potato Roll is the number one branded hamburger bun in the United States!
What makes this golden bun so special? It could be the company’s focus on baking high-quality bread and roll products using the best ingredients. It could be their rigorous dedication to extraordinary taste, quality and customer service. Or, it could be their long legacy of cherished eating experiences started by Lloyd and Lois Martin in 1955. But really, it is all of these things working together that truly sets Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe apart from its competitors.
It all began in 1955 with Lloyd and Lois Martin baking a full line of bakery items — from powdered donuts to sticky buns to cloverleaf potato rolls — out of their one-car garage in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Every weekend, the two would load up their 1954 Dodge Coronet with baked goods, tie the trunk lid down (because it was packed too full to shut), and head north to sell their products at farmer’s markets throughout the Carlisle, York and Harrisburg areas. The products were so popular that soon Lloyd and his son, James (Jim), decided to also sell them at local grocery stores.
However, it was not long until the humble bakery did not have the capacity to keep up with customer demand. So, Lloyd and Lois decided to purchase a house on Route 30, Lincoln Way East, and convert it into a bakery, which opened in 1966. In the front of the store, they ran a small snack counter, which later would become Martin’s Family Restaurant.
As their bread and rolls became more and more popular, Martin’s began running route sales into supermarkets in the area, and, like the garage bakery, soon the restaurant could also no longer meet the demand for Martin’s Potato Rolls.
In the mid-1970s, as perhaps one of the biggest decisions of the Martin’s business at that point, the Martins purchased land to build their first bakery-only facility on Garber Road in Chambersburg. With this facility, they were much more equipped to keep up with the demands of production. As the business has continued to grow, that facility has had many additions. Today, the site is now also home to Martin’s Corporate Headquarters, a vehicle maintenance and auto body garage, and The Golden Roll: Martin’s Visitor Center.
In 2008, Martin’s opened its second production facility in Valdosta, Georgia, in order to meet the ever-increasing demand for Martin’s products, which are now distributed in more than 15 states from Maine to Florida using a team of route salespeople, independent wholesalers and distributors.
The Famous Buns and Bread
Today, Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls and Bread comprises a line of 13 bread and roll products, along with several foodservice-only products. The most popular are the potato-dough products, which include Martin’s Sandwich and Long Rolls, assorted smaller rolls like Party Rolls and Dinner Rolls, Martin’s Potato Bread, and Martin’s Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl Potato Bread. Martin’s also produces non-potato bread products, which are popular as well. Martin’s white dough products include sesame-seeded burger buns called “Big Marty’s” (after founder Lloyd Martin), Hoagie Rolls, and Old-Fashioned Real Butter Bread. They make whole wheat as well: Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread and 100% Whole Wheat Slider Potato Rolls.
Martin’s has fresh distribution of these products along the East Coast, and more recently, in Chicago, Nashville and New Orleans. For food service customers, Martin’s distributes fresh and frozen products all over the United States and in more than 30 other countries.
With those distribution areas growing all the time, the Martin’s company has earned quite a name for itself in the culinary community. Famous chefs like Rachael Ray and George Motz have become big fans of Martin’s products and even feature them in their recipes. Award-winning chefs have won contests, like the Burger Bash at the Food Network’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival, using Martin’s rolls!
The Legacy Continues…
It has been more than 60 years since Lloyd and Lois began baking these delicious rolls in their makeshift garage bakery, and yet the legacy of those beginnings lives on. The Martins were dedicated to using only high-quality ingredients to bake the best products possible. Today, Martin’s still holds that same dedication by using high protein wheat flour, real milk, potatoes, pure cane sugar and butter — all non-GMO ingredients with no artificial color and no artificial sweeteners — in all of their recipes.
The company continues to grow, and Martin’s Potato Rolls are becoming well-known around the world. But it all started right here in Pennsylvania with a commitment to hard work, a dedication to quality production and a drive to be the best of the best. Martin’s strategy is summed up in their motto: “Whatever it takes, God helping us.” And, as Lloyd Martin would often say with a smile, “If you don’t call yourself famous, who will?”
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