Baking Hall of Fame
Baking Hall of Fame 2012 Inductee
Joe Franz was born on July 20, 1913 in the family living quarters above the Portland, Oregon Franz Bakery, located at N.E. Flanders and Eleventh Streets. The bedroom, in which he was born, was to become his office in later years. Joe began working in the Franz Portland Bakery, when he was 14 years old. After attending the University of Oregon, the Dunwittie Baking Institute and the American Institute of Baking, Joe returned to the bakery in 1933 as a full-time employee. Joe Franz progressed from the bake shop to the sales department to Production Superintendent. Joe’s father, company founder Englebert Franz, died in 1954, when Joe was 41. Joe Franz led the Franz Bakery for over 33 years – during which time the Franz (United States Bakery) became the largest family owned baking company in the West.
A shy quiet man, Joe Franz was a leader, a pioneer. He insisted on top quality products – using the finest ingredients. He had the ability to surround himself with top people – luring Bob Albers from Wonder Bread in 1975 and putting together a succession plan to insure the company’s future as an independent baking company. Joe believed in investing back into the business by updating equipment and making sure that the machinery and fleet was modern and state of the art. Joe Franz and Bob Albers teamed up to purchase the Marx Bakery in Gresham, OR, the Snyder’s Bakery in Yakima, WA, the Smith Bakery in Salem, OR, the Langendorf Bakery in Portland, OR, the Interstate Bakery in Spokane, WA and the Boge Bakery in Spokane, WA.
AN avid boater and fisherman, Joe Franz was a member of the Portland Yacht Club and the Astoria, OR Yacht Club. Joe passed away on March 10, 1988 at 74 years of age. He will be forever known for his love of his company, his dedication to quality products, his love for the employees of his company, his beautiful smile and a succession plan that has allowed Franz – United States Bakery to remain independently owned.
Click on the images below to view .pdf files of the inductee's biography and plaque.