Toufayan Bakeries, one of the largest family owned commercial bakeries in America, is celebrating 50 years in business in the US. Based in Ridgefield Park, NJ with additional manufacturing facilities in Plant City and Orlando, Florida, Toufayan, which sells more than 100 varieties of breads and baked goods, is credited with kicking off the pita craze and helping introduce US consumers to ethnic breads. The brand is recognized as a nimble innovator in the baked breads category. Founded by Harry Toufayan who now runs the business with his three adult children, Toufayan Bakeries marks this milestone anniversary with a 50K giveback to the communities in which they do business, a gesture in line with countless charitable contributions that have defined 5 decades in business.
Harry Toufayan grew up working in his father’s bakeries overseas. When the Toufayans immigrated to the US, Harry and his father sensed there was room to disrupt the US bread market which was dominated at the time by mass market white loaf breads. Harry opened the first US-based Toufayan Bakery in West New York, NJ in 1968 and quickly concluded that traditional and world-inspired breads could find a home in America.
“We found early success selling traditional breads within the ethnic community,” said Harry Toufayan. “But at some point, just a few years after we opened, I was picking up a deli order at the local supermarket and thought, wow, this would be a great place for pita bread, which was very hard to find in those days. I refocused our attention on grocery stores and some forward-thinking buyers bit and placed orders. Together, we introduced Americans to pita breads, wraps and other specialty baked goods that have now become commonplace in households nationwide.”
In addition to introducing traditional breads, Toufayan Bakeries is often among the first to offer consumers on-trend options such as the Smart Bagel, a version of a “scooped out” bagel with fewer calories and a line of gluten-free wraps including Spinach, Garden Vegetable, Savory Tomato and Original. Among the latest products are Gluten Free Pita Chips, Organic Sprouted Pita Bread, a gluten free thin crust for pizza and the country’s first Organic Naan. Toufayan Bakeries products include items that are vegan, non-GMO, organic, low-carb and kosher.
“My father, now in his mid 70s, still works harder than most people I know, driven by a passion for perfection. He knows it’s our family name on that product going into your family’s home,” said Karen Toufayan, director of marketing at Toufayan. “Like many American immigrants who have become citizens, he instilled in us a deep love of country, unwavering work ethic and appreciation of the opportunities availed to us. We look forward to another 50 years of leadership in the baking industry and creating delicious products for America.”
The Toufayans have baked giving back into their business and family life. Harry is known to load up his car with products to distribute to law enforcement on patrol, the family gladly donates product to community-based institutions and shelters in need and they partner with national organizations including the Make & Wish Foundation and the Multiple Sclerosis Society in New York, New Jersey and Florida to support efforts to improve the health and well-being of adults and children nationwide. After natural disasters or emergency situations around the country, if there is a need for product, the Toufayans make that a priority, finding a way to deliver truckloads of breads, bagels and pita to survivors in need of assistance and sustenance during recovery.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating 50 years of business in America. This is the best country in the world,” says Harry. “You work hard, and you get results.”