In 1914, friends and business partners Philip Baur and Herbert Morris opened the Tasty Baking Company in Philadelphia. Among their two families, the men had raised $50,000 to go into business. They chose Sedgely Avenue, part of Germantown, to open their bakery with a new idea: instead of regular family-sized cakes, they produced individually-wrapped snack cakes.
Philip’s father, August, was President of the Bauer Brothers Bakery, initially established in Pittsburgh in 1886. The Bauer Brothers were well known throughout Pittsburgh for home-baked rolls, tea biscuits, and cakes. They also produced Aunt Hannah’s Bread and Buster Brown Bread, which were two favorite brands of the time.
After a few technical difficulties and recipe adjustments, the Tasty Baking Company opened their doors on February 25th, 1914. Individual cakes began rolling off the line, but there was a problem: they didn’t have a brand name. That issue was remedied when Herbert’s wife took a bite out of one of the first ones and exclaimed, “That is a tasty cake!” Herbert quickly set about designing a logo and “Tastykakes” would soon become famous throughout the city.
Philip and Herbert were soon running a successful company. By the close of the first day, they had grossed $28 selling cakes for 10 cents each. At the close of the first week, they had grossed $222. By the end of the year, Tastykake had raked in nearly $300,000.00!
Tastykake moved to Huntington Park Avenue in 1922. Within the next five years, they added two new product lines: the junior, a half-sized cake that sold for 5 cents each; and the Krimpet, a small ‘crimped’ cake with thick icing. The 1930s saw lunch-box sized fruit pies and in 1931, the most famous Tastykake of all time was created: the Tandy Kake, later renamed Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes.
The 1940s through the 1970s saw the company pulling in close to $40 million annually. Sales doubled when the company went public with stock options in 1940 and had continued to expand since then. By the late 1980s, Tastykakes were now available across the US. The company moved to newly refurbished buildings at the Navy Yard in 2009, then merged with Flowers Foods in 2011. Between 2012 and 2017, three new product lines debuted: Kandy Bar Kakes, Mini cupcakes, and Kake chips.