The History
of Drake's Cakes

1888

A Rising Career

Newman Drake entered the baking business with Vanderveer & Holmes Biscuit Company, a leading baker of quality crackers and cookies. Newman became a foreman in the bakery by 1891.

1893

An Idea Abroad

Newman became a salesman for Vanderveer & Holmes Biscuit Company. In 1893, while traveling on business in England, he was inspired by cakes from local bakeries and returned to the U.S. with a big idea.

1896

A Baking Legacy Begins

Newman Drake opened the N.E. Drake Baking Company on 135th Street in Harlem in New York City. He baked pound cakes of various kinds, which quickly became a local favorite.

1902

Brothers in Baking

Joined by his brother Charles, Newman opened another bakery in the bustling Wallabout Market in Brooklyn, close to the source of ingredients. The bakery was incorporated as the Drake Brothers Company.

1905

Drake's Expansion to Boston

The Drake brothers opened a bakery in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston.

1913

Genuine Drake's

Drake's Cakes were originally sold as large cakes that were cut to order by grocers. To insure that shoppers bought genuine Drake's Cakes, they were baked with a paper pan liner that was perforated with the Drake's brand name.

1913

Heights of Change

The Drake brothers built a five-story bakery in Brooklyn that included a rooftop garden for employees to enjoy during their breaks.

1914

Reliable Deliveries

This truck, one of the few in the Boston bakery fleet, was recognized by an early trucking magazine for operating 14 months without the loss of a day of service.

1918

Reward for Hard Work

Drake brothers rewarded their sales team with grand recognition dinners as early as 1904. By 1918, the dinner was held at Silsbe & Son Oyster House in New York.

1924 - 1925

New Name. New Bakery.

At 63 years of age, Newman reincorporates the company as Drake Bakeries, Inc., and brings in third-generation baker Ralph Ward as president. Drake opens a third bakery in New Jersey. The forward-thinking company used electric delivery vehicles.

1926

An Icon Is Born

Drake's Devil Dogs® cakes first make the scene. Two delicious devils food cakes with creme filling soon became a popular snack. Today, Devil Dogs® are an icon of the Drake's brand.

1928

A Dandy Snack

Yankee Doodles® cakes originated from the Yankee Cake Company in Providence, Rhode Island, which later merged with Drake Bakeries.

1929

Drake Bakeries Sold

Just before the stock market crash, The Borden Company buys Drake Bakeries, Inc. Borden quietly holds Drake Bakeries until publicly disclosing its subsidiaries in 1968.

1930

Newman Drake Passes

On March 18, 1930, Newman Drake passes away at the age of 69. Before his passing, Newman donated land for the first park in his hometown of Newton, New Jersey, which is named Memory Park.

1930

Dawn of a Classic

Drake's perked up taste buds with the launch of the now famous Coffee Cakes.

1939

Drake's on the World Stage

Drake's participated in the 1939 New York World's Fair with an exhibit called the Drake's Cake Stand.

1941 - 1945

Rationing During the War

During World War II, Drake's president Ralph Ward was the chairman of the War Advisory Committee of the American Bakers Association. Ingredient rationing during the war limited Drake's production of baked goods.

1958

A High Note in History

Drake's strikes a chord with the launch of Ring Dings® cakes. Often Imitated. Never duplicated.

1961

Still Leaves 'Em Laughing

Funny Bones® cakes have been tickling the fancy of consumers since 1961.

1962

Roll with the Times

Drake's was on a roll with the launch of Yodels® cakes.

1964

The All-American Snack

Originally introduced as Fruit Doodles, Drake's Fruit Pies are still a fan favorite today.

1969

From New York to New Jersey

After more than seven decades, baking and executive offices for Drake Bakeries were moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Wayne, New Jersey.

1981

A Duck by Any Other Name

Consumers were invited to participate in a contest to name the faithful duck mascot. Webster was the winner!

1986 - 1987

Drake Bakeries Sold

Borden attempted to sell Drake Bakeries to Continental Baking, who also owned the Hostess brand at the time. Competitor Tasty Baking protested the acquisition, and a federal judge blocked the merger. That allowed Rock Capital Partners L.P., funded by the Rockefeller family, to purchase Drake's.

1990

Drake's Bakery Sold Again

The Canadian company Culinar, Inc., purchased Drake's. Culinar's roots go back to the J.A. Vachon & Fils Bakery, which was founded in Quebec in 1924.

1998

Drake's Brand Sold

Interstate Bakeries Corporation acquired Drake Bakeries from Culinar, Inc. Interstate Bakeries originated from Schulze Baking Company, Chicago, Illinois, in 1893.

2013

Welcome Home, Webster!

After 117 years, the Drake's brand is again family owned. McKee Foods, a fourth-generation family bakery, is delighted to bake Drake's® Cakes.

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