Once upon a time, our grandfather, Hassan, opened a storefront bakery on Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn. He would call it Damascus Bakery, in homage to his home country, Syria, where he first learned traditional Middle Eastern baking recipes.
That was 1930, when Brooklyn was a borough of many proud immigrants building neighborhoods. It was also the time of the Great Depression and Prohibition. Hassan would work night and day to bake his warm and delicious old world pitas, lavash and flatbreads for his new-found Brooklyn neighbors, and would very quickly become the “King of the Avenue” who always found the time to break bread with all.
Good times, bad times, Hassan was living the American Dream: He got married, started a family of four children- including Leila, our mother- and would even buy a little “castle” just a few blocks from the bakery (yes, that’s the same house you see on our Brooklyn Bred® packaging!).
Leila would grow up loving the time she would spend with her father, whether at the bakery where she would routinely serve customers, at home, on the boardwalk at Coney Island, or, even at Ebbets Field, where they would root for their Brooklyn Dodgers- ALL Dodgers- and especially for the history those Dodgers would make in the 40’s.
In the late 50’s, Leila, now a lovely, young princess, all dolled up, would be swept off her feet by the other most important man in her life, Tony, her prince charming and future soulmate. Leila and Tony would marry, bake bread together, and in the early 60’s they would make four children of their own- us!
By the early 70’s, Tony- who had growing appetites to feed at home- envisioned a plan to expand, boldly projecting that “If man can take one small step onto the Moon, the bakery can take a few giant leaps outside of Brooklyn”. In the 80’s the growth of our products, markets, and brand would flourish. For Leila and Tony, the growing recognition- and celebration- of our bakery was a dream come true; of course, even that bakery dream was second to their dream to attend the college graduation of each of their four children (which we made sure that they did.)
Leila left us in 1990, too soon, too young; Tony would pass ten broken-hearted years later.
That brings us to today, the new millennium, and the 3rd generation- the generation that, statistically, is the “doom” for any storied family business, right? Don’t write us off just yet! We’re all about the family business: “Baking a Difference” is still the mission; “Innovative Baking, Old Fashioned Excellence”, forever the secret recipe. But Heaven forgive us, the time had come for us to create of a name for our own, and what better way to do that than to tattoo a brand new brand name- and child- onto the market: BROOKLYN BRED SINCE 1930. Homage to our heritage, and to our “hood”. And why not? Brooklyn is one of the hottest names for newborns these days, and we- Damascus Bakeries – were born in Brooklyn in 1930, and have been BRED there happily ever after.
First to market under our new Brooklyn Bred ® name was our award winning Pizza Crusts. After all, who knows pizza like a Brooklynite ? As any ‘real’ Brooklynite would tell you, the success to every great pizza starts- and finishes- with the crust. Just one bite into these crisp and fermented Brooklyn Bred® Pizza Crusts, you’ll get a real taste of who we really are. Next to market, our equally edgy, and outspoken Bistro Buns, Bistro Sticks and other Bistro Breads that will speak out to all, no doubt with a Brooklyn Accent!
As for the 4th generation (or G4 as they call themselves), it seems that they have some ideas of their own- a family trait perhaps. We’re betting that they will continue this hearth-warming and ‘against-the-odds’ success story that started almost a century ago. After all, it’s in their DNA, as it will be for G5, G6, and many more. There are no limits to our future- and fate- as a bakery, so long as we understand who WE are, and, who YOU are. It also helps to remember that
“No matter where we may go in our life, no matter what we may do with our life, ‘There’s no BRED like Home!’”