Research Paper

Submitted By Nessalf629
Words: 1319
Pages: 6

Rudkin’s Famous Farm

Pepperidge Farm founder, Margaret Rudkin, once said, “There isn’t a worthwhile thing in the world that can’t be accomplished with good hard work. You’ve got to want something first and then you have to go after it with all your heart and soul.” Margaret possessed the ambition not many women had during the 1920s; Margaret was a diligent woman. She showed this through the productiveness and progressiveness of her own company. Her determination helped lay the foundation for one of the most famous companies of this day. Margaret Forgarty was born in New York City in 1897. She possessed stunning green eyes and attractive red hair. She was born into a second-generation Irish family and was the oldest of five children (“Margaret”). Margaret graduated valedictorian of her high school class, and then spent nine years of her life working in New York at a brokerage firm of McClurek Jones and Co. There she met a Wall Street Broker and partner of the company, Henry Rudkin, who she had married in 1923. Three years later the couple bought 125 acres of land in Fairfield, Connecticut. The couple soon learned that the trees on the property were a type of sourgum species called Pepperidge Trees; they then named the property Pepperidge Farm in tribute (Papazian 70). The couple moved into the farm with their three sons in 1929, the same year as the Stock Market Crash (“Margaret”). On October 29, 1929, billions of dollars were lost in the New York Stock Exchange on Black Tuesday. This sent Wall Street into panic: losing millions of incoming and fixed investors (“Stock Market”). The Rudkins then had to tackle the Great Depression, which was the most profound and longest-lasting economic failure in the history of the Western world lasting from the years of 1929-39 (“Great Depression”). The Rudkins biggest challenge during this time was the health of their youngest son. He had asthma and a severe allergy to commercial breads that contained preservatives and artificial ingredients (Papazian 70). In this time it was hard for people to get food that was truly organic because of the governments’ and peoples’ finances in shambles. From the advice of a specialist, Margaret put her son on a diet of vegetables and minimally processed foods; but in 1937, Margaret took her own incentive. She began experimenting by baking delicious preservative-free bread for her son to eat. After a few tries, she finally got the recipe right. Her son loved her bread and his health improved so much that her sons’ doctor, Dr. Donaldson, actually “prescribed” it to many of his patients’ (“Margaret”). The success of her bread gained her notoriety in her community, which made her start a small business out of her own kitchen (“Margaret”). She approached Domenic Mercurio of Mecurio’s Market and asked if he was interested of selling her “Pepperidge Farm” premium bread for 25 cents a loaf (Papazian 69-70). He was skeptical because most bread was sold at 10 cents a loaf, but after a sample soon changed his mind. Mecurio not only bought all her loaves, but by the time Margaret arrived back at her house there was a phone message for more. Her husband helped her out as well. He carried her bread on the train with him to Grand Central terminal to be sold at shops in New York City. Soon word of the “Pepperidge Farm” bread got around, and everyone wanted a taste (“Margaret”). The Pepperidge Farm Company finally formed with its sell of the 500,000th loaf of bread in 1939. Then six months later, production increased to one million loaves. Margaret gained fame when Readers Digest published an article called “Bread Deluxe” about her story to the world. This caused a demand for the Pepperidge Farm creations and Margaret was forced to move the business out the kitchen and into her garage from 1937 to 1940. The business got so intense that it moved into its first factory in 1940. Margaret only wanted to stay there for about a year while she…