of Drake's Cakes
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.
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.
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.
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.
Drake's Expansion to Boston
The Drake brothers opened a bakery in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Dandy Snack
Yankee Doodles® cakes originated from the Yankee Cake Company in Providence, Rhode Island, which later merged with Drake Bakeries.
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.
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.
Dawn of a Classic
Drake's perked up taste buds with the launch of the now famous Coffee Cakes.
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.
A High Note in History
Drake's strikes a chord with the launch of Ring Dings® cakes. Often Imitated. Never duplicated.
Still Leaves 'Em Laughing
Funny Bones® cakes have been tickling the fancy of consumers since 1961.
Roll with the Times
Drake's was on a roll with the launch of Yodels® cakes.
The All-American Snack
Originally introduced as Fruit Doodles, Drake's Fruit Pies are still a fan favorite today.
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.
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.
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.
Drake's Brand Sold
Interstate Bakeries Corporation acquired Drake Bakeries from Culinar, Inc. Interstate Bakeries originated from Schulze Baking Company, Chicago, Illinois, in 1893.
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.