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Let Them Eat Tastykake

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A Philadelphia institution is ready for its close-up as it celebrates its 100th birthday. Tastykake is marking its centennial in a big way including a cameo in an upcoming movie and as they often say “timing is everything.”

Toward the end of the upcoming DreamWorks animation release “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” a Tastykake truck rolls across the screen in what could be the first ever movie appearance for the iconic bakery. “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” director Rob Minkoff says the use of Tastykake came about when a competing bakery went belly up. Minkoff says the original scene had a Hostess cakes truck roll across the screen but during production when Hostess filed for bankruptcy and went out of business, animators were forced to re-sketch the scene find another bakery. That is when Tastykake entered the picture, literally.

It is only fitting to have Tastykake included in the same movie as Marie Antoinette who is visited by Mr. Sherman and Peabody thanks to their WABAC or way back machine. Transported back to the French Revolution, the father and son encounter the queen in an opening big action animation sequence which finds Marie Antoinette declaring “Let them eat cake.” It would have been a nice touch at the end of the movie when the Queen of France re-enters the picture that she issue an edict demanding that they all “must eat Tastykake.”

While the movie screen-shot is a mere coincidence on Tastykake’s 100th birthday, the company that has baked up Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Juniors, Butterscotch Krimpets and Kandy Kakes, will introduce a limited edition Birthday Kake Cupcake.

To mark the occasion, Tasty Baking Company will “Kake Over” its hometown with deliveries of Tastykake treats to first responders and charities around Philadelphia. The company is also announcing a partnership with the USO to send military service members around the globe a taste of home.

According to the company’s website, Tasty Baking was the brainchild of Pittsburgh baker Philip Baur and a Boston egg salesman, Herbert Morris. In 1914, the two went into business in Philadelphia to produce baked goods using the finest ingredients delivered fresh. The pair insisted on farm fresh eggs, Grade A creamery butter, real milk and cocoa.

At ten cents a cake in 1914, the bakers sold $28 worth of product on the first day of sales, $222 at the end of the first week of business and by the end of 1914 gross sales were $300,000.

When the ovens fired up for business 100 years ago it only baked 100 cakes. Today it produces nearly 5 million cakes, doughnuts, cookies and pies each day. Teetering on the verge of extinction itself a few years ago after moving from its antiquated home in the Hunting Park section of the city to a new green-space facility at the Philadelphia Shipyard, Tasty Baking Company was rescued when Georgia-based Flowers Foods purchased the bakery in 2011.

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