PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The beloved Philadelphia bakery Tastykake celebrated a century in business on Tuesday by introducing a new product, giving out free treats and serving up — what else? — birthday kake.
The company marked its 100th anniversary with a multi-tiered confection made from its most famous products: Butterscotch Krimpets, Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes, Chocolate Cupkakes and Juniors.
"Tastykake's got the right recipe for success," president Paul Ridder said. "We have delicious snack cakes, a relentless focus on quality and freshness, a fantastic team ... and we've got loyal fans."
As a present to customers, the company introduced a limited edition Birthday Kake Cupkake made of confetti cake with chocolate icing and rainbow sprinkles. Employees also delivered free tasty sweets to charities and first responders throughout the city.
In addition, Ridder announced an initiative to distribute products through the USO, the organization dedicated to lifting the spirits of U.S. troops.
Pittsburgh baker Phillip Baur and Boston egg salesman Herbert Morris raised $50,000 from family and friends to launch Tastykake on Feb. 25, 1914.
Headquartered in Philadelphia's Germantown section, the bakery made 100 cakes on its first day of business. Now, it produces nearly 5 million cakes, doughnuts, cookies and pies daily in a modern facility at the city's Navy Yard.
After struggling in recent years, Tasty Baking Co. merged with Georgia-based Flowers Foods Inc. in 2011. Tastykake employs about 750 people in the region.
Longtime delivery driver Dave Barner, who helped the company celebrate its 75th birthday, was thrilled to be at the party for its 100th.
"It's just a fantastic product that keeps us here," Barner said.
Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley and U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., were among the dignitaries marking the occasion Tuesday. Cawley praised the company's modest beginnings and its current success.
"There was no lieutenant governor at the first day's opening," he said. "There was no certainly no congressman at the first day's opening, no deputy mayor, certainly no press. It was just two Americans who had a dream."