I didn't learn until recently that Entenmann's wasn't a national treasure. In a passing conversation with a non-New York native about what to get at a grocery store for dinner (Me: "... or we could just get a box of Entenmann's, har har," Him: "What?") I learned that "Entenmann's" doesn't actually mean anything to people who didn't grow up in the Northeast.
But it means so much for those of us who did, especially those of us who grew up in communities that required baked goods to be stamped with a Kosher K. My favorite mornings in middle school were those that featured Entenmann's soft-baked chocolate chip cookies as a post in-school-Bat-Mitzvah treat.
So I was sad, as I think many of us were, to see that Entenmann's is shuttering its last Long Island facility.
Fans of chewy chocolate chip cookies take note: Entenmann's is closing its Long Island bakery. http://t.co/AxRSG2CT6n— Rachel Feintzeig (@RachelFeintzeig) June 3, 2014
No! Not Entenmann’s! http://t.co/poW4dC8k4o— Jessie Heyman (@jessieheyman) June 3, 2014
Okay, @Entenmanns. Tell me what I can do to help. Should I buy some coffee cakes??— Chiara Atik (@ChiaraAtik) June 3, 2014
The New York Times reports that the Bay Shore plant will be shut down by July, and 178 of the 265 workers laid off.
Entenmann's baked goods were an iconic symbol long before I started middle school — or before most of us were born. The company, which was founded by William Entenmann in 1898, has been headquartered in Long Island since 1905, and the plant in question has been in operation since 1961. Warner-Lambert, a pharmaceutical firm, purchased Entenmann's in 1978. Now, it is owned by Grupo Bimbo, a Mexico-based conglomerate that will take on production responsibilities after the Bay Shore location closes.
But it will always be special place for the locals who grew up on their various treats. Long Islander Lawrence Levy told the Times that "If you wanted to show off before relatives from Queens and Brooklyn who came out for barbecue or brunch, you bought Entenmann’s."
I'm not going to say that there's something essentially important about Entenmann's. It was, at one point, a family-run business, which is cool. It's also lame in the way that brands are lame, which is endearing.
Today, we honor the brave. pic.twitter.com/6aYlEgB5M3— Entenmann's (@Entenmanns) May 26, 2014
Delicious Outstanding Necessary Unbelievable Tasty Scrumptious How would you describe donuts?— Entenmann's (@Entenmanns) May 28, 2014
But I will say, that as far as store-bought pastries go, Entenmann's is tops. Especially the chocolate glazed donuts, and especially when those are part of a 12-donut variety pack, and washed down with orange juice, and shared by a bunch of near-teenagers who don't want to go to first period.