Back in the 1950′s, in the kitchen of their home located in the heart of “Pennsylvania Dutch” country, Lois and Lloyd Martin perfected their potato roll. Using a recipe that had been handed down in their family for longer than anyone could remember, and guided by Lloyd’s twelve years of experience working in his father-in-law’s bakery, the Martins soon felt they had a product they would be proud to sell.
Their first customers were friends and neighbors who bought their potato rolls in local farmers markets. The sweet, buttery taste, soft texture, and distinctive golden color made the Martin’s Potato Roll an instant favorite.
Over the course of the next twenty years, demand for their product steadily increased. When the operation became too large for the Martin’s home to handle, the bakery moved into the Martin’s Family Restaurant. By 1978, a new plant was built at 1000 Potato Roll Lane in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, where they continue to do business today. In the meantime, distribution had grown from the local farmers markets to corner grocery stores and on to supermarkets across central Pennsylvania.
Martin’s Potato Rolls had indeed become “Famous.”
In the 1970′s and 80′s, Martin’s Famous Potato Roll products forged a new category in the supermarket and established the gold standard for potato roll taste and quality. Various competitors in recent years have attempted to produce a “potato roll” that matches the taste, quality, and freshness of Martin’s, but if market share is a fair indicator, none have measured up. Martin’s was the number one brand of potato rolls on the day they created the category, and they continue to dominate in the markets where they have established full distribution.
Today, the plant in Chambersburg is a 223,500 sq. ft. state-of-the-art bakery with continuous proofers, spiral coolers, automatic baggers, and robotic packaging machines. Martin’s produces a line of potato roll and bread products that are delivered by a top-notch team of route salespeople, independent wholesalers, and distributors to supermarkets up and down the East Coast.