One morning in 1906, in the small kitchen of Dora and Joseph Schwebel in Campbell, Ohio (near Youngstown), the couple was working together to mix, knead and bake the family's famous bread. Known for its outstanding taste, unmatched freshness and superior quality, the bread was carefully baked each day, and delivered -- still warm from the oven -- in wicker laundry baskets to a growing number of customers, including immigrant steel workers from Youngstown and neighboring areas. In just a few short years, the reputation of Schwebel's bread spread far and wide. Its customer list continued to expand, and delivery operations began to rely on horses and wagons instead of wicker baskets.
In 1914, Dora and Joseph entered the world of retail sales by expanding their customer base to "mom and pop" stores. To ensure that fresh bread was in the stores when customers requested it, the couple added more bakers to assist the family and even hired the company's first driver/salesperson to assist with deliveries. The strong economy of the 1920s kept operations moving along, and more people experienced the taste and quality of Schwebel's bread. In 1923, the Schwebels invested $25,000 and built a small bakery -- complete with a store front -- for retail business. The family could bake and deliver 1,000 loaves a day, using six delivery trucks. The future looked bright.
Tragedy struck in 1928, however, when Joseph Schwebel died suddenly, leaving Dora with six children and the family's business to run by herself. During this era, many people believed that the baking business was no place for a woman with young children. Dora Schwebel was told she should sell her bakery and stay home with her children. Instead, she stared down her critics and decided to continue with the business that she and her husband had built. Against all odds, Dora forged ahead to keep her family thriving.
Today, Schwebel Baking Company, still based in Youngstown, is the premier wholesale baking company in the region. However, in recent years the company has consolidated operations to remain competitive. In 2014 the company closed its Cuyahoga Falls plant where this story is mapped. Five years later it closed its Solon plant, leaving plants in Youngstown and Hebron, Ohio, still operating. For more than 110 years after its humble beginnings in a suburban Youngstown kitchen, Schwebel's continues to produce the breads people ask for by name.