Baking & Snack - February 2021 - 18

BAKING HALL OF FAME

BROTHERS IN

BAKING

August

Albert

August and Albert Junge turned a small Missouri bakery into a regional
powerhouse that changed the industry and their community.

B

Brothers August and Albert Junge of Junge Baking Co.,
Joplin, Mo., were selected as inductees into the ASB
Baking Hall of Fame not only for their contributions
to the baking industry but also for the role they played
within their local community.
The brothers got their start at their father August
Junge Sr.'s Chicago bakery, Heissler & Junge Co. While
working there, August Junge Jr. attended the Chidlow
Baking Institute, a first-of-its-kind school in the United
States. August Junge was the institute's first student and
first graduate.
Noting the absence of any commercial bakeries in the
area and having recently dissolved his partnership in
Heissler & Junge Co., August Junge Sr. founded Junge
Baking Co. in Joplin in 1900. The brothers were brought
in to work side-by-side in the bakery, and following the
death of their father in 1904, they assumed ownership of
the company.
That year, the brothers moved the business out of a
tiny basement bakeshop and into a 3,500-square-foot
wood frame building with baking equipment powered by
steam. A decade later, they expanded the business again,
moving into a 20,000-square-foot, four-story building in
1915. The same year, Albert Junge converted an old horse
lot adjacent to the plant into a landscaped park. Over the
next decade, the park was transformed into an area for
the entire Joplin community to enjoy, featuring a train, a
windmill, waterfall and miniature village.
August and Albert Junge maintained a keen interest
in new baking technologies. The company pioneered
high-volume manufacturing of sliced bread and installed the first automated bread baggers. In 1921, it
switched delivery methods from horse-drawn wagons

18 Baking & Snack February 2021 / www.bakingbusiness.com

to motorized transports, one of the first in the Midwest
to do so. Its 163,000-square-foot cracker facility that
opened in 1946 ranked among the biggest in the United
States. The Junge Baking Co. split into two companies
in 1944: the Junge Bread Co., which was responsible for
bread production, and the Junge Biscuit Co., which was
responsible for the production of cookies and crackers.
In the 1950s, the company adopted decentralized production to improve efficiencies, a rare move for a regional baker of its size.
In 1958, the Junge Biscuit Co. cracker plant was sold to
Safeway, leaving the Junges to run only the baking plant.
The family sold its interest in the baking plant in 1975.
At its peak, Junge Baking encompassed four large
wholesale bakeries in Coffeyville, Kan.; Fort Scott, Kan.,
and two in Joplin. The company employed a staff of 650
and served Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
As president from 1904 to 1965, August Junge was
the company's public face, active in community matters,
while Albert Junge, the bakery's vice president, secretary
and treasurer from 1904 to 1957, managed financial and
marketing efforts.
Also in the 1930s, August Junge contributed land and
funds to the Joplin school district to build an athletic
stadium, still in use today. He also provided land and
funding for the Joplin Regional Airport. August Junge
died in 1967.
Albert Junge had a lifelong interest in physical fitness
and athletics. Whole wheat baked foods fit that lifestyle. In 1915, Junge Baking Co. added California Raisin
Bread. During the 1930s, he expanded variety bread
offerings with the full line of Roman Meal products.
Albert Junge died in 1957.

Artwork by Brent EngstromĀ 

by Eric Schroeder, Milling & Baking News


http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - February 2021

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