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Our History


Margaret Rudkin, a Connecticut housewife and mother of three young children, discovers one of her sons has an allergy to commercial breads that contain preservatives and artificial ingredients. So in 1937, she begins experimenting with baking her own preservative-free bread for her ailing son -- ultimately perfecting a delicious whole-wheat loaf that contained only natural ingredients. Encouraged by her family and her son's doctor, she begins a small business out of her kitchen selling her "Pepperidge Farm" bread to local grocers. Named for her family's farm in Fairfield, Connecticut, consumers recognize her homemade bread's quality and buy every loaf she baked.

1940's 1950's 1960's 1970's 1980's 1990's Today

After World War II, and its associated shortages and rationing ended, Margaret Rudkin's plans for expanded bakery production could finally be realized. On July 4, 1947 her dream came true with the opening of the company's first modern bakery in Norwalk, Connecticut. New products such as dinner rolls, stuffing, and oatmeal breads are developed and tested, with Mrs. Rudkin always taking the first bite. Mrs. Rudkin clung tenaciously to her principles of quality -- a tradition that continues today.

Pepperidge Farm's first television ad airs with founder Margaret Rudkin as spokesperson. Eventually, the Pepperidge Farm's country gentleman in the horse and wagon replaces her in a successful ad campaign that spans five decades.

During a trip to Belgium, Margaret Rudkin discovers delicious and delicate cookies produced by the Delacre Company in Brussels. Pepperidge Farm reaches an agreement with Delacre to produce these elegant cookies in America. In 1955, Pepperidge Farm launches its Distinctive line of European-style cookies with evocative names such as Bordeaux®, Geneva® and Brussels®.

Pepperidge Farm moves into the frozen food business with the acquisition of the Black Horse Pastry Company, manufacturers of delicate and flaky homemade frozen pastries.

Campbell Soup Company, one of the largest and most highly respected food companies in North America, acquires Pepperidge Farm in 1961.

America gets its first taste of Goldfish crackers in 1962. Margaret Rudkin discovers the snack cracker on a trip to Switzerland and returns with the recipe.

The Margaret Rudkin Pepperidge Farm Cookbook becomes the first cookbook to chart on The New York Times Bestseller List in 1963.

Margaret Rudkin officially retires from Pepperidge Farm in 1966.

Pepperidge Farm builds more plants around the country to meet the growing demand for its premium products.

In the 1970s, Pepperidge Farm bread travels aboard the Apollo 13 and Apollo 14 space flights.

Nostalgic "Pepperidge Farm Remembers" ads run on television, radio, and in print throughout this time period.

Goldfish® crackers advertising makes its television debut in 1977.

The American Collection™, now known as Chocolate Chunk Big Cookies, join our popular Distinctive and Old Fashioned cookies in supermarkets in 1986.

Goldfish® snack crackers blast into space onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1988.

Goldfish® crackers become "The Snack That Smiles Back®" with the introduction of "Smiley" in 1997. This marks the first-ever alteration to our icon product since it launched in 1962.

Offering frozen convenience, but homemade taste, Pepperidge Farm introduces its own flaky Pot Pies and hearty Texas Toast.

Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated exceeded $1 billion in sales in 2001 and ranks in the top 2 percent of brands worldwide in brand equity.

From our beginning in Margaret Rudkin's kitchen in 1937 to today, Pepperidge Farm has changed a great deal, but one thing has never changed, our commitment to quality. It's a tradition that began with our entrepreneurial founder, and proudly continues to this day.