Disappearing Colonial Bread a Sign of Times

Our BrandlandUSA reader “JM” tells us that Colonial Bread is on deathwatch, and it may be in danger of disappearing due to its ownership by Sara Lee (NYSE: SLC).

Writes our dear reader:

Colonial, one of the South’s well known bread names, is now owned by Sara Lee.

Since Ms. Lee invaded the Colonial colonies, Sara Lee Bread has been appearing alongside – and displacing – Colonial as their primary brand (uh-oh).

Guess which line is getting more and more shelf space? Customer re-education is underway. Tonight, at the local Publix (still doesn’t seem right; it is located in an old Winn-Dixie – The Beef People left Atlanta), the Sara Lee bread was marked at a price lower than the Colonial loaves. Colonial is also getting somewhat harder to find. Most of the time, the Colonial King Thin can be found, but Colonial Old Fashion is getting hard to find at Publix or our Kroger stores.

We can see how. Sad things Sara Lee has done as it has grown its bread empire:

  • In 2002, Sara Lee closed a Memphis, Tenn. bakery open since 1930, according to the May 18 Commercial Appeal (See Sara Lee to Close Bakery in Memphis)
  • Closed a bakery in DeKalb County, Alabama 
  • Closed bakeries in Albuquerque, Chattanooga and Chicago

Frankly, we are ripping sick of these great old Southern brands going bye-bye. These companies, with their so-called marketing and branding “experts,” know nothing of regional traditions. They not only cannot understand the value of regional brands, but haven’t a clue how to extract the value in them. (Sara Lee is also selling off many of its non-food brands.)

They see regional brands as a liability, and the reality of the rebirth and success of a mayonnaise like Duke’s totally misses them. These companies do tricks that make readers think they are generous, then lay off workers in places like Alabama and give away money on national TV shows like Ellen to show off how great they are. This sort of business practice, which has become deeply rooted in American business, needs to stop.

White bread is a low margin, near commodity staple that provides regular, but meager returns. While there is money to be made in bread, we fail to understand how it can provide the long-term ROI that Sara Lee desires, except by one-time layoffs and cuts.

Sara Lee has three choices. It will likely choose number three:

  1. License the Colonial bread name as an exclusive “in house” brand to certain grocery retailers
  2. Use the Colonial Bread brand as a specialty brand next to Sara Lee
  3. Continue to alienate potential customers

In the old days, the federal government would be on Sara Lee like a hawk, making sure that there was no bread monopoly. Local pressure and a sense of decency would not allow C-suite folks to just lay off workers, willy nilly, when bakeries are purchased. Those days are over, and its now officially O.K. for large companies to fire long-term employees for a quick increase in profits.

In the old days, companies would be shamed that a CEO would make $15 million when it was underperforming, as Crain’s reported Sept. 17. Crain’s said that Sara Lee Corp. CEO Brenda Barnes’ compensation jumped 60% to $15.2 million for fiscal 2009 despite a 20% drop in the company’s stock price. The increase was due to $8.3 million’s worth of stock awards, compared with $3.4 million the previous year. That money would pay a lot of bread workers.

Strangely, Sara Lee, I think, believes that Jimmy Dean, the founder of its sausage brand, is not around. You can find nothing about him on the Jimmy Dean sausage website, which I think is weird, especially since the logo has his boots on it. Even more sad, Dean’s house burned down recently, with much of his life’s work. I hope that was of concern to the company that is doing so well by his name.

We believe in capitalism, but it doesn’t work when shame no longer has power over a society.


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website BrandlandUSA.com has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.


  1. I Just found this Web page after searching to find out what every happen to Colonial Bread. After reading every posted comment I can say that before Colonial was purchased by Anheuser Busch, the company cared about quality and their workers. I worked for the Colonial Bakery in Columbus GA for 6 years before the plant was closed by Anheuser Busch. I started out working on the Bread oven on second shift which is where all new employees started. The Bread Oven didn’t have any doors on it, while you were loading the Pans of bread in the oven you were staring at the flames inside of the oven. My first day on the job I worked 14 hours that day. Later after a couple of years I moved to the distribution department and worked on the line that come from the Bread bagging/slicing machine. Then later I ran the Bread Bagging machine for several years before the plant was closed. The Plant was closed in December of 1987 where My Dad (18 yrs. employed), Myself, My Brother and my brother in-law all worked. The whole family was out of a job at the same time. Good old memories, a time that will never be repeated.

  2. You are right on, But you should know all bakeries ,but Wonder bread ,went under different names across the Country. Wonder Brand was Coast to Coast.

  3. I worked for Colonial Bread when SL took over. My route was around the new mall of Georgia and was one of the biggest in the state. Sara Lee immediately extended the shelf life of bread from 3 days to 7. They cut my best sellers like Old Fashioned and Iron Kids bread space. I went from selling 300 loaves of Iron Kids to selling 30 loaves of Sara Lee. They promoted yes men and those of us who fought back they pushed out. I received a reprimand at one point for selling to much Iron Kids bread. Sara Lee was a joke to the competition. Still is.

    1. Hello,I have a question for you… What was the name of the colonial bread sold in the flat tin pan, that was soft and really good in the 70s ,80s I guess.

      I’ve tried to find the lil sweet rolls with no luck…

      1. Dinner time Rolls…. They are gone.

    2. Can anyone tell me the name of the sweet rolls from the 70s ,80s in a flat tin pan that was sold in stores by colonial bread?

      I can’t find a store that still carrys this really good small square bread rolls…

      1. Author

        Regina. I wish I knew. Pepperidge Farm also had a version of this; they were sort of finger rolls with poppy seeds on top, I believe.

  4. I have read all the comments and I have to agree that Sara Lee has, absolutely, ruined bread. I was raised in Chattanooga, Tn. on COLONIAL BREAD. I knew right away when things changed and the bread was terrible. It, not only, tastes bad it does not taste fresh and you can’t even spread peanut butter and jelly on a slice without it falling apart. I did not know that Sara Lee bought the company and I tried Sara Lee bread. It is awful!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t even enjoy a sandwich any longer. Thanks Sara Lee you stink.

    1. I miss Colonial Bread, my favorite bread. Sara Lee you stink.

      1. I have two old Colonial is good Bread shirts for sale.

    2. My dad worked sales route for Taystee Bread and continued with Manor Baking Coretired. Dallas until he retired. I worked sales for Manor several years in the 80’s. The friut cakes we carried were from Yahoo Baking Co. North of Dallas. They made the Texas Manor Fruitcake we sold around Dallas/Fort Worth. Presently, they have a lot of bad reviews on service. Collin Street bakery is now making the best fruitcakes.

        I sold “Manor Texas Fruitcake” (in the blue tin, with scenes from Texas history on the sides) as a high school band fundraiser back in the early ‘70s – best damned fruitcake I ever tasted – EVER. I’ve been trying for years to find Manor Texas fruitcakes again, with no luck. Now – I know why I can’t find exactly that, but THANK YOU!! I now know where those cakes actually came from, and have also noted your comment about the Corsicana bakery. I’ll be ordering a sample from each, for comparison purposes, but I really hope that the Yahoo folks come through for me – I’d really like to recapture that experience from my youth, if possible. Thank you for your post!!

  5. My husband worked at Colonial bakery for 26 and 1/2 years. Made us a good living but it was hard work.Long hours and bad supervisors. Wish I could find a tin can of fruit cake, have a empty can. They used to give us one every Christmas.We live in Montgomery, al. Byron and Pat Furr

  6. Wow, the comments have been going on for 12 years. Cannot let that stop now.

    I grew up eating Colonial Bread and thought nothing of it until my friend’s mother made a sandwich for me, from Sunbeam. It was stale, like it had been sitting out all day but it was from a new loaf.

    Most of the bread on the grocery store shelves is already stale. Sara Lee bread has always been stale.

    I remember working at a fast food restaurant in the 1970s. Colonial delivered buns and bread every week day. That’s how it was in the grocery stores back then too. You were not expected to purchase old bread but now, that’s all there is.

    My son, born in 1990 got to enjoy Colonial Bread. His mother kept bringing home “healthy bread” that had the consistency of pine straw. We went on a bread strike until she started buying Colonial, for us.

  7. Looking for Jimmy ‘JJ’ Johnson, Billy Perkins, Jeff Nix or any old friends from The Atlanta Colonial Bakery on Moreland Ave…..

  8. My uncle, Jack Guiest [spl?] owned the bakery in Des Moines, Iowa. To me, they wee very wealthy and I inherited their sons clothes and used toys. About once a year [this was in the 40s] we got to go to their house for dinner. His wife Edna was very gracious. They lived in West DesMoines [we had to take trolly cars and transfer 3 times] and had a beautiful house with swimming pool and pool table. First time I ever saw roast beef! Just a few memories.

    1. Author

      Best line… “First time I ever saw roast beef.”

  9. Sara Lee won’t get anymore of my money, just because of there business practices much less Sara Lee’s products aren’t all” that”

  10. Do you still have the screen door? I retired 30 yrs Colonial, interested in door.

  11. i went to work for rainbo which was later turned to colonial in the chicago area in 1978 i stayed there until i moved to the huntsville alabama area then i went to work for them here till it got so bad i quit and went to wofk for flowers sara lee busted the union and so now im retired but i draw nothing for my 28 years working in the bread business

  12. At this point with the actual Colonial Bakeries closed and therefor the unique recipe/process no longer being done to bake a loaf of bread, Colonial is just a brand that Sara Lee owns.
    Even if Sara Lee continues to use the brand will it even be on a premium loaf of bread or just their cheapest loaf that stores sell for $1?
    Whatever it will be (or if) it isn’t real Colonial bread, is it?

  13. My dad spent 40 plus years at Manor Baking Company in Kansas City Missouri. In 1977 I started and retired in 2009. 1977 – 1987 closed the Westport Bakery and went to Colonial Baking bought out by Anheiser Busch then went Earth Grains, back to Colonial who bought out Taystee Baking. Later on Sara Lee bought it all now at the present time it is owned by Bimbo Baking.

  14. Wow! All I can say is wow! I found this site as I was trying to find the name of the honey buns and cinnamon rolls we ate when we were kids growing up in Arkansas. I remembered Colonial Bread – which put me here. I have read so many heart warming articles and I, too miss the Colonial brand. Little Debbie honey buns does NOT compare to Colonial. Maybe someone out there has the recipe and will someday bring Colonial back (unless Sara Lee owns it) under a different name. After reading these articles, there is a large audience waiting to make the purchase.

    1. They had the best croissants too.

  15. My dad worked for Colonial Bakery in Cedar Rapids, IA from 1975 until they closed the doors in 94. Started out as a route salesman in the Mt. Pleasant depot then to the Iowa City depot and finally moved to Cedar Rapids to be a transport driver. There will never be any bread anywhere near the quality that Colonial was.

    1. I also worked at Colonial Bakery Cedar Rapids from 1973-1978. It was a great place to work and payed for my college so I am forever grateful. It is too bad Cedar Rapids lost this bakery and the livelihood of so many hard working people.

      1. I visited Colonial in CR in 1981 when our bakery in Peoria IL closed. Had worked in office in Peoria for over 17 years. Only female in office or bakery when I started. Enjoyed working there.

    2. We probably knew each other…..my dad ran Colonial in CR and I worked there too while in school at U if Iowa.

  16. Now companies have no since If purpose. Unadmitted greed rules the day and the way.

  17. Did colonial make a snack cake that was similar to two large, very soft vanilla wafer style cookies filled with a light cherry icing? What were these named and are they still available anywhere? (Similar to an oatmeal pie.)

    1. They were called colonial snacks, they had oatmeal, vanilla, chocolate & strawberry. Been looking for them myself!!!! Great childhood memories:)

      1. Me and my Siblings hv been trying to Google to find out what was the name brand of those glazed donuts that were sold in Alabama that came 3 to a pack back in the mid to late ’70s. They only sold them in convenience stores in the Western counties of Alabama. I was thinking that it was made by Sunbeam or Colonial and my Sister said that it was Mrs Smith. I really would love to know if anyone knows!!

        1. Author

          I hope readers can help with this..I have no idea.

  18. In the last month our colonial king thin out of Augusta ga disappeared. I was thinking the local grocery just ran out when I needed some and got colonial old fashioned and knew right away something wasn’t right. The old fashioned did not have the taste or texture as colonial old fashioned or king thin but I noticed when I got my last loaves that there was supposed to pass for colonial w a Sara Lee label added! Sent me to the Internet and boy I was surprised! No cheap air hole Sara Lee bread or other products for me!!!

  19. I worked at Colonial 1959 to 1993 in the Atlanta Plant in Production. I will also say you cannot say Colonial is good bread anymore. In 1991 we moved from Moreland Ave to present Plant. There was a lot of hard work that went into that move. We used to make a small loaf called mini bread that was sold to Six Flags. Once my wife brought home Sunbeam bread because there was no Colonial in the store and my 3 year old son cried because it wasn’t Colonial.

  20. I worked in production Atlanta plant 1959 to 1993 I was there when we moved from Moreland ave. To pantersville rd. That was some long hard days . Being in production I know what you mean about colonial not being good bread anymore. We made a mini loaf for six flags , it I think sold for one dollar .

  21. charles…..
    ah the good ol, hard days….
    You are right- Campbell Taggert ran a good company..
    An/Bush knew beer , not bread.
    Sara Lee a disgrace.
    Poor product.

  22. Charles (above)
    You are correct, hard work , seemed like 7 days a week (had to pull up chains on your route to max sales. I did it from 76 to 85, lot of hours for what you made.
    Best bread EVER back then , no comparison to what you buy today. If it says ‘Colonial Bread’ today, it is not, sorry to say.

    Merry Christmas to the ‘Colonial Nation’.

    Bruce ‘Booger’ Hux

  23. ran a route out of the macon,ga bakery from 1979-1991, then from 2000-2017. the good old days, before A-H bought us, were really great times. hard work, but we were putting out a high quality product, that no one else could touch.

  24. Colonial outsold Sunburn Bread 10 to one inside I-285 in Atlanta- Black people dispised ‘Lil Miss Sunbeam’ on the wrapper, also said they used embalming fluid as an ingredient….
    Their trucks (Sunbeam0 had a foul odor to them, compared to Colonial’s fresh bake smell……

    Absolutely no comparison in breads…

    yes, we miss it

  25. My uncle Jim Strickland ran the Colonial Bakery in Columbus, Georgia way back in the 50s till it sold. We would get the Christmas fruit cake, delivered by mail, in Atlanta and Charlotte, as far back as I could remember, which was the 50s up to whenever it closed. I had two cousins who went on to run it for Sunbeam. Thin on facts but loved that fruit cake and Uncle Jim!

  26. Am I wrong on this? The Sunbeam bread company gave pencils to us ( schoolchildren) with their motto, Not By Bread Alone at the beginning of the school year. Wasn’t it Colonial Bread who gave wooden rulers with The Golden Rule on them? That was in the 50’s.

    1. Littke Miss Sunbeam on the wrapper is praying during Thanksgiving-Christmas.and the saying “Not by bread alone” is included, so I figure it was a Sunbeam pencil.
      I miss the honey buns from the local Holsum bakeries in Alexandria and Monroe, Louisiana and haven’t seen Colonial bread in years, but I remember the push handles on the doors of the old county stores around here, with Colonial on them.

      1. Author

        I had no idea that was what the Sunbeam girl was doing! Thank you for that. We need to do a follow up.

  27. My Grampa Bert Whitmer, worked for Colonial Bakery 41 years and retired in 1971, in Nashville, Tn. He started out washing bread trucks when he was 17 years old, in 1930. He learned to be a master mechanic and was the garage supervisor the last 15 years he worked. He used to take me out on road service calls in the middle of the night during the summer when I was 10 years old. His life was his job at Colonial. I remember he worked all week 12 hour days and 1/2 day every Saturday on salary. That was when men were real men.

  28. Attn.-Shari

    Rainbo Supreme Fruitcake-
    came in bars, 2-3-5 pound cans was a Chrismas/Holiday tradition. Yes, it was pricey, we had to sell them , often aided by a ‘punch-board’ so businesses (bars, etc) could sell chances to win one to their customers. My dad won a huge trophy , out selling all Colonial employees for many years. He made friends/business contacts feel obligated to buy.

    It was a high quality cake.

    1. The good ole days! Remember the 5 fundamentals? My father ran the Little Rock bakery from the mid 70s to the mid 90s. His name was Leon Dunn. My name is Barry, as i too worked many years for the company. Sad to see how it has gone downhill.

      1. Position and space, service, distribution, display, goodwill

        1. I worked for Colonial Bakery in 1966 in Saint Louis, Mo. Each of those sell points had a point: the only one I remember was goodwill, ” Goodwill means nothing, if you don’t know how to use it correctly”. I think the other four was how you used the goodwill by selling yourself first.

  29. My children’s father, now deceased, worked for Colonial Bread for 15 years in Indiana. Good company and good product. I came across this site looking for Rainbo fruitcake. Colonial sold it in our state during the holidays . We loved it and even the kids liked it. My assumption is that Rainbo is no longer around either. At any rate, I was glad to find this page and read the comments. Brought back many happy memories. Thank you all.

  30. I can’t find colonial giant loaves anymore. I used to be able to find them at my local Kroger and Walmart stores. Now I can find is the crappy generic bread that each store carries it falls apart and his course is no good. I wonder what the world is coming to when you can’t even buy a decent loaf of bread thank you

  31. I am trying to find the raisin bread with white icing that a huge bread company in Columbus, GA used to make. I think they were behind Wells Dairy on Wynnton?

    Anyone remember? I’d like a recipe of that icing–no bread makes it that way now.

  32. James…. Remember me, I loaded next to you for years in Atlanta? Remember my dad’Booger’?

    I’m sure you remember he passed away in 1993.
    You and me had a supervisor named Gary Riley.
    Armstrong was president, Dickerson, V.P.
    Other names- Abercrombie, Carden Relus Phillips(PAPPY), , Gasperson, and sorry ol Bobby Greybell….
    Look above, Noah Berry posted. Don’t know if you remember him..

    Hope you are well…

  33. I worked for COLONIAL BREAD for 40years in Atlanta ga. I retied in 1979. I was a route salesman I ran from roswell to cumming for 2 years and then ran stone mountain when I retired that was the good oll days.

  34. I started buying Colonial bread from my local WalMart last month and they always have OLD FASHIONED AND TEXAS TOAST on their selves.
    I buy it for BLT’s and other traditional home style sandwiches .

  35. i started to work for colonial baking co. in nashville in 1975, the company was owned by campbell-taggart of dallas. imo the decline of this once great company started when anheuser busch puchased the company and began to sell off all assets. the company was doomed when we were puchased by sara lee. i retired after 31 years of service, really enjoyed working with all the dedicated people that made that bakery was it was. sad to see the bakery closed now and replaced with retail shops.

    1. they thought they could sell bread like beer….Bread= short shelf life…. We knew how to ‘pre-post’, order accordingly.

  36. I worked for Colonial Bread from 1993-2014. My father retired from Colonial Bread. He worked from 1966-2004. He started out inside the plant hand twisting the bread and worked his way up to plant president when he retired. I worked as a route salesman. Sara Lee KILLED Colonial bread. The bought the company for the market share and then drove away loyal customers by doing away with the Colonial brand and quality.

  37. There used to be a Colonial Bakery in Rockford, Illinois. I recall my wife and I attended a church just a couple blocks from there on Sunday’s, It was very difficult to keep my mind on the service with the smell of bread wafting through the church building. Sadly, the bakery closed a few years ago.

    1. Hey I use to work there, my dad was Director of sales there.

  38. I am to disappointed about colonial breads future. I’m 61 and have all ways ate colonial bread .if the store was sold out we would go somewhere else and still that way . why would you do away with something that is perfect and sells so good . you need to use the old recipe. Ive noticed a change in the bread after the package changed ( holes in the bread) but still taste great. some times change is not good . I think your co. is making a BIG mistake.

  39. I worked for Dixie Portland Flour mill in Chattanooga I delivered flour to the Colonial bakeries in Atlanta,macon ,Chattanooga and other towns , I remember a man named Frank at the Atlanta bakery .He worked in the lab run samples on the flour . I sure miss the good old days.

    1. the smell in those parking lots was AWESOME!!! Had the aroma of a brown and serve roll….

  40. And maybe Donald Trump (congrads) can ‘ Make COLONIAL Bread GREAT AGAIN !!!’

  41. Vicki- Check e-bay, probably worth more than you think….

  42. I inherited an old Colonial bread steel display rack with a tin Colonial label. Old family friends ran a Mom and Pop store back in the days. Is it worth anything or can it be repurposed? Thank you!

  43. Did you know Colonial loaves were hand twisted?
    A line worker would twist 2 rolls of dough over , into the pan and allowed to rise.That’s why the wave effect on the top of the bread. Sunbeam was batter whipped like cake mix. No comparison.

    1. Yes, the plant in St. Louis, Mo had a big picture window in the hallway right outside the Salesroom. I never miss a day work in 30 years as a route salesman, But I work for the three biggest bakeries in St Louis, Mo. Colonial bakery by far was the cleanest most modern and best run bakery in St louis, Mo. I think, but I’m willing to listen to anyone opinions. . Do you know bread now has at least a 14 day code, And since to the Food and Drug Agency controls what chemical additives are added to food . Look up BIMBO.

  44. I remember growing up on Colonial. I also remember here in Chattanooga, it was always a few cents more than other brands. There is a hospital nearby where the old bakery used to be. One day, in the early nineties, I was visiting a relative at the hospital, and the bakery was baking up a fresh batch. One whiff of that wonderful smell was enough for me to understand. Sad, life twenty years ago seemed altogether better, and I miss it.

  45. Attn. Bill ……
    You will NEVER find another bread to compare to Colonial Bread and it’s long ago quality…

    Sad but true. Another thing to think about….

    Ever notice bread called fresh in the store today?

    Look at the date it states on the wrapper….
    Has a date for another 7-10 days…
    We , back in the day would put our Colonial Bread out Monday, Tuesday, pick it up on Thursday, (Weds. was a day off) put it out FRESH Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and repeat on Monday………

    Snack cakes had exactly 1 week on code date….
    Check out what is now coded on the products sold…. 1 month…

    WHY !!! Because it is filled with unhealthy preservatives….

    GMO foods , what we eat today not a healthy option. You can thank our non caring government for a lot of this. Mr. Obama and his food police starting with his wife will tell you what your kids should and will eat …

    November CANNOT arrive fast enough.
    Nuff said.


    1. You are right on, But you should know all bakeries ,but Wonder bread ,went under different names across the County. Wonder Brand was Coast to Coast.

  46. Worked for colonial bread for 25 years. Ret in 1993.what has happened to quality of the product?
    Would like to find a fresh loaf of good old colonial
    Bread!!!!!!! Probable never !

  47. In the 60’s, Honey Buns made at the Atlanta plant were just as good as a Kryspy Kreme doughnut………….

  48. Returning to read on about our beloved Colonial (was GOOD BREAD)…………….

    Sunburn (sic) Bread in Atlanta was out sld by Colonial quite a bit… FACT- Black customers did NOT like Little Miss Sunbeam because of the white girl on the wrapper and many told me they used embolming fluid in their recipe….

    I do know this- inside a Colonial truck smelled MUCH better than a Sunbeam truck…..

    Wish I had a 16 oz. loaf called ‘BIG’ , A HOME GROWN TOMATOE , DUKES MAYO, and a dash of pepper……….. yes sir…….

  49. I just found some Colonial bread at the Schnucks supermarket and made some cinnamon toast. Yummy! …and it’s nice to read posts from southerners harking back to the “good ol’ days when the feds would come in and break up monopolies and businesses cared about more than just making money”!!

  50. I loved Colonial Bread when I lived in Greenwood, SC, and have been trying to find it ever since I moved to the upstate over 20 years ago… I am glad I found out that there is no more Colonial Bread… I can finally stop looking for it. What a shame. Would love to have a recipe.

  51. #60 Lynn Lawrence remarks makes you wonder how we got away from the golden rule. Pretty simple Greed. I worked for Colonial Bread for six years. I worked Fort Rucker, Dothan and the Geneva area and had the chance to meet a lot of fine people. My last year in 1976, I worked a beach route in Panama City, Fl. We sold an old fashion loaf for .26 cents a loaf that was baked at the Dothan, Al plant. As Bruce Hux stated above it was an 8 hour loaf that was allowed to rise two times. Sunbeam (Flowers) my understanding was allowed to rise once. It was also great to smell the bread on a Friday night while at the football stadium at Dothan.

    1. Michael

      I had no idea that these companies compromised the product so much. Thank you for this bit of history Michael.

      1. Thank you for doing this article. I f you remember, I am born and raised in Norfolk Va.

    2. Did you know Gerald Dickerson ?

  52. My dad retired from Colonial Baking company in Columbus, GA. They were bought out by Anheuser Busch . My dad passed away October 30. All we got in the mail from them after all of my dad’s years of service was a cold cold letter informing us that his retirement check would be stopped. Goes to show you that it is only about the almighty dollar. Lives don’t matter anymore. I will never again eat a slice of their bread. I don’t care how much I loved it.

  53. Like I said before above ………


    Sad but true.


  55. I love Colonial bread, my family and I grew up eating colonial bead. It was our preference over all the other brands. In 1970 I moved from Alabama to the Washington Metropolitan area and could not find the bread in the area. When I finally went back to Alabama hoping to get some Colonial, to my amazement I could not find it there anymore.

    My sister went on a trip about 4 months ago and she sent me a text message. Ihe message has an image of Colonial bread and she as asking If any of her siblings remembered that bread. We all remembered. As a matter of fact, I thought they had stopped making the bread over 30+ years ago. The only reason I stopped buying it was because I could not find it anywhere. In my opinion, I think this is the best bread in the world and it would be a real shame if it went at away forever.

  56. I love Colonial bread. I grew up eating this bread. When I left Alabama and moved to the Washington Metropolitian area I really missed it. I could not find Colonial bread in this area. And by the time I went back to Alabama hoping to get some of this bread, I could not find it in stores anywhere. The only reason I stopped eating Colonial bread is because I could not find it in stores anywhere. I don’t know how much it cost these days but if it’s still at an affordable price, I would still buy it if stores would carry it. If possible, I would also buy it online. I always thought this was the best bread in the world.

    My sister went on a trip through Tennessee about 5 months ago and sent me a text message of Colonial bread. I was surprised to see that it still existed. I though it had gone out of business over 30 year age. I would love to get my hand on some Colonial bread. It would be a real shame if it went away for good.

  57. I worked in the Colonial bakery in Owensboro, Ky in 1970 when I was 17 years old and still in high school. To this day I regret leaving that job. Should have stayed there and lived with my mom and dad until I was 40. Great job and great place to live if you haev a good job.

  58. My Grandpa worked for Colonial Bread for 41 years. He started in Ok. when he was 17 washing bread trucks. He later transfered to Nashville, Tn. as a mechanic and worked his way up to garage superintendent. In summer of 1962 I was 11 yrs. old and he would take me out on road service calls in the middle of the night to work on broken down transport semi-bread trucks. He worked six days a week, got paid for 5. The bakery was his life! He used to take me into the plant in Nashville where they made the bread during the night and we would chow down…….I remember when the drivers went union and my Grandpa and all his mechanics had to repair dammage to all the bread trucks that tried to cross the pickett line! Sad to see Colonial Bread go away.

  59. Any other route salesmen out there from the Atlanta Colonial bakery ? Let me hear from you.

  60. Sara Lee/Bimbo (Bimbo, a proper name, huh) needs to be sued for false advertising claiming to be a maker of ‘Colonial Bread’…………….

    That be like Coca Cola being sold when it is actually ‘Chek Cola’ ……………….

    Those who never ate the REAL ‘Colonial Bread’ will never know what they missed …….

    ‘Colonial WAS Good Bread , gone but not forgotten.

    Sunbeam/ Flowers breads could not and NEVER will compare tu the taste, texture , smell, and decodence of the BEST that is never to be ……..

    Sad, but true.

    We miss you.

    1. My dad Peter Buckholts was a Route salesman in Valdosta, GA. under Don Mathess from 1955, before I was even born, until 1966 when he was offered a promotion to move to Thomasville, Ga. At that time I was 5yrs. old, we moved, dad never got the promotion. 1968 we moved to Florida & started over. Dad is now retired, 86yrs. old, living in West Palm Beach. He often talks about the good times he had working there but also about how he got screwed making the move to Thomasville.

  61. Face it folks………..

    The logo on the wrapper is the only thing that remotely has a connection.

    The REAL Colonial bread was hand twisted and a true 8 hour loaf, from the time the ingredants first wereput together and the dough had to rise in a proof box, baked and wrapped. This $hit they sell as ‘Colonial’ bread is none other than ‘Sunbeam’ (batter whipped ) like a cake….

    Not worth a danm , aint now and never was.

  62. I,too, am angered about Colonial bread now being a Sara Lee product but let’s put the main blame on Colonial Bread for selling to Sara Lee. They didn’t care about their loyal customers-just took the money and ran.

  63. Colonial is only in name only; It used to be baked in Des Moines, Iowa and when the bakery (2nd street and University) was shut down over 10 years ago, the brand became a name not a product. If its still around it’s the same bread that Sara Lee is selling as store brands just as Pan O’ Gold did when they bought the trademark, before they sold it to Sara Lee.

  64. I have been trying to find either a coconut cake like the square one that the bread truck brought. My Favorite Cake ever!! I was told the factory where it was made had burn down. If they are not being made, does anyone have the recipe Please. Just something different about that coconut cake.

  65. I live in Illinois. I buy my Colonial 16pk buns at Sams club. The last several months the buns have been wet on the bottoms. Holes through out the buns. It is a SHAME to see what is happening with Colonial . I will NOT buy Sara Lee . SHAME SHAME on you for not doing right. American’s should stop buying any of your products & that would put you out of business ,where you belong.

  66. Good article. the disappearance of these local brands tells me that transport of the product is very cheap-which is why Bimbo prefers to make bread a huge regional bakeries (rather than operate local bakeries). I have noticed the same thing in NE-Thmas’ English Muffins used to have a local bakery in Weymouth MA-it was closed, and now Bimbo makes it in St. Louis.

  67. Noah-

    Great hearing from you –

    Now doing heating and A/C in Anderson S.C .
    for the last 15 years about ready to retire…

    You ever hear from other routemen?


  68. When I was a kid the Colonial truck used to deliver to our house. (We lived in a rural area.) In the summer months us kids would save up money so that we could buy honey buns right off the truck!

  69. I was raised with Colonial Bread, thin sliced, sandwich bread. Since I have been an adult it has been almost impossible to find it. Since moving to Knoxville, TN, it has been IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND, COLONIAL BREAD. If I could find it, it would be the only loaf bread I would buy.

  70. Good Bread ,Fresh Bread ,Colonial Bread is Fresh Bread. Put it in the oven ,bake it in a pan, get it to the store as fast as we can.Im the bread man just rolling in dough, loafing around a little crusty around the edges . I worked in the bread business with Colonial in Atlanta and Pensacola for about 21 years left in 2004 after Sara Lee took over and ran the brand into the ground . I remember you and your dad Bruce Hux we used to play golf at Cannongate together .

    1. leave me an update Noah….Hope you are ok. Ever talk to any ex route men?

  71. I think the bread you’re making now is terrible,what are you’ll doing with the bread, I can not even eat your bread but one day before it goes bad.. I have eaten Colonial bread for 70 years and the whipped texture sucks. I will never buy anymore Sara lee products.

  72. I think the bread you’re making now is terrible, it gets hard and then sometime the bread is wet, what are you’ll doing with the bread, I can not even eat your bread but one day before it goes bad. shame on the company for selling people just anything, I have lost 2 loaves of bread in the last week.

  73. I loathe the taste and texture of what our Colonial Bread has transformed into since Sara Lee purchased our branch in Nashville. Since childhood we always purchased Colonial, but today after buying one last loaf and it taste even worse, we will no longer buy any Sara Lee products. Don’t know what they did to our wonderful bread, but it definitely no longer exist. I suppose the result is from cutting corners and cost. Horrible bread now.

  74. Colonial and Rainbo were always the best of the widely-available store brands. It’s too bad about the Sara Lee hookup. Sara Lee is by far the worst bread on the shelf.

  75. The 2013 American Package Design Award is nice…

    It’s the bread that sukks.

  76. a get that old bimbo company out the south we need colonial bakery back like they had it

  77. Colonial bread was also sold under the brand names Manor Bread in the Kansas city area and the brand name Rainbow Bread in the St.Joseph Mo. area

  78. Like so many of you I grew up with Colonial Bread and their products. Had a conversation with the Sara Lee salesman at our local Kroger in Duluth GA. He stated he has recieved a lot of negative comments about our Colonial bread. He went on to say the he thought that Sara Lee was buying up the competiton and closing them down. He also thought they were using day old Sara Lee dough and baking it for Colonial Bread. That may explain the difference from the past. Sara Lee does not want to carry the Colonial label and will be phasing it out. The bakery in Atlanta will soon close. Now with Wonder bread closed we are stuck with inferor bread.

  79. Gone with the Wind ……….

    The real Colonial Bread.

  80. I grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. My dad used to work as a loader for Old Home Bread Metz Baking company. He put in his 30 years and retired. I also worked there for a short time as a pull up. Back when I was a pull up before Earthgrains purchased Metz Baking company Old Home Bread. We used to only keep a bread on the store shelf for 3 days then it went to the thrift store. When Earthgrains bought it. They changed that time to 7 days. Earthgrains didn’t own Old Home Bread for maybe 6 months to a year and they themselves got bought out by Sara Lee. Now that Bimbo bought Sara Lee they are now the world’s Largest Bakery. They now own so many brands of bread labels like Ms. Bairds bread and others. I thought that Bimbo bakery was actually based in Europe and then in Mexico second.

  81. I worked for Colonial Baking Co. in Rogers, Ark in the late fifties or early sixties. The bakery was located in Fort Smith, Ark. It is a shame that Sara Lee Has closed out the brand as fast as they can because it’s only true competitor was Holsom Bread with the twisted loaf. Shame on Sara Lee.

  82. My great grand daddy, Hugh Wasson, began Colonial Baking Company in Chattanooga in 1929. It’s too bad that the integrity of the company, brand and bread he began has come to this in the hands of Sara Lee. I plan to write Sara Lee and pass along the comments.

  83. What has happened to Colonial bread the last 3 loafs I have bought after a few days it starts to smell horrible and you can’t eat it. I have used this bread for years but it is horrible now. I like the super slices, but I have thrown away almost 3 loafs.

  84. Hi, I was born in 78 and my most memorable experience with Colonial Bread were those 3pack of doughnuts. Those were the best doughnuts ever. You could easily make a meal with them. hate to see such a good thing go away.

  85. I was shocked to see Colonial Old Fashion Bread on WalMart’s shelf this weekend!!! After the disappearance of this bread a few years ago, I’ve not found a semi close replacement for it. Sara Lee does not even compare to the great taste of Colonial… Is this bread being sold again???? Please tell me it is!

  86. I worked for Colonial in the early sixties in Saint Louis,we were the best dressed routemen and the cleanest trucks in the city. Felt that it was the best run company that I worked for. Left to make more money for a potato chip company.

  87. I worked for Colonial Bread in Atlanta from 1976-1985 as a route salesman. My dad worked there from 1965-1992, retired and passed away in 1993.
    Colonial led the market as the best bread , and at one time made the best honey buns (coated with Krispy Cream glaze). When I was 10 years old, daddy would bring home a ‘caddy’ (12 in a box) that was still warm. A cold glass of milk killed 2 or 3 at a time!!

    Now I live in NE Georgia and the bread is no where near the same..

    Would love to have a pair of Colonial (is good bread) screen doors frome the 50’s- early 60’s ….

    1. I have a metal Colonial Bread sign for a screen door in great shape. Would sell for $200.00

  88. I have a Santa that is 57 years old. It was in a window display that Colonial Bread Company had in a small store in Montrose, Arkansas. I was raised on Colonial bread hate to see it go out of business.

  89. Does anyone know where I can purchase Colonial Bread memoribillia. Also I am looking for an old Colonial Bread truck to restore.

    1. I have many colonial pencils and finger files if you are interested.

      1. Do you still have the screen door? I retired 30 yrs Colonial, interested in door.

    2. I have a metal Colonial Bread screen door sign. In very good condition. I worked in the office of Colonial in Peoria IL for a total of 17 years until it closed in Sept. if 1981. Would love to sell the sign for $200.00.

      1. Did they also make snack cakes? I grew up in Texas and remember eating many cherry snack cakes (looked like today’s whoopie pies) and a German chocolate cake they sold in convenience stores. My sisters and I have been trying to find signage and pics of the snack cakes made by Colonial. Google doesn’t even have any. Just a bakery in Jersey. The sign looks like the brand stamp on the cherry pies I loved.

    3. I have an old picture of a Colonial bread store.

  90. im just letting you know that my son is VERY sick from eating your bread. You have added MILK after 10 years OF NOT HAVING milk. I have been through a nightmare the last 2 days because he has been VERY ill (throwing up, face swollen, etc) and we have been to the doctor several times. When you add MILK or OTHER allergy products – you need to put it out in the public. Not on a tiny little bitty itsy label. I really loved your product bc i have a child that will DIE from eating milk. I pray that other mothers and fathers will pay attention after the 10 year switch to that tiny label. My fault because I trusted you, I guess.
    Erica Etter

  91. Bobby Lott, the people who brought animals to the schools were known at the Colonial Bread Educational Exhibits, a public relations business owned by me. We went to all the schools, public and private in the bakery market areas, teaching as a public service. We didn’t talk about bread, we taught our subjects, which included felines (with an African lion cub, a Manx and Persian cat) reptiles with snakes, turtles, lizards and crocodilians, primates with a chimpanzee; anteater, sloth and armadillo (Xenarthra) etc. We won many educational awards for the work our teachers did. Ozark was one of the towns where we visited every year with a different animal group as the subject. Maybe you and I know one another from Pine Mountain Valley, Georgia, but evidently you’ve forgotten. Or was that your father? He almost came to work with us back in the early sixties. I’m pleased that you remember our work for Colonial Bakeries.

  92. Never say die. Aunt Hattie’s bread, my personal favorite, has now disappeared from most stores in Arizona. Now all that’s available are the inferior Sara Lee, “Natures Own”, “Natures Pride”, and Oroweat products.

  93. Guys, I’m sorry. But it seems that Sara Lee doesn’t care about good ole traditional brand loyalty. Now, Bimbo has bought the bread side of Sara Lee. A Mexican based company. Do you think they care? No, they just want to make money. But there is still one company that knows about loyalty. This company that has been around for nearly 100 yrs. This company’s TOP Management has been in the business for years and knows about bread and knows about loyalty. That company is Flowers Baking. They continue to market Bunny, Sunbeam, Cpt. John Derst, Evangeline Maid, Mary Jane & Friends, Mary Jane, Aunt Hattie’s, and Holsum. These brands will never die off. Flowers knows the true meaning of these brands, still today.

  94. SaraLee is now selling out to Bimbo Bread. Theyleave the bread out on the market to keep from having any returns so you may buying bread that is nearly a week old.In the 70’s i worked at the bakery in Nashville Tn and we carried what we called a hot trip in the middle of the day so we could have fresh bread on the market.

  95. Does anyone know where I can find it and have it shipped to
    me? I grew up in GA and my dad used to drive a truck for Colonial.
    I currently live in Alaska and am having withdrawals from Colonial
    Bread and Blue Plate mayo!

    1. who was your dad. My dad drove in mid 60’s, I did in mid 70’s.

  96. I have in the last year had the experience to purchas both Colonial bread and Jimmy Dean Sausage. BOth are now of low quality. What does this do for me? assume that now all Sara Lee products are inferrior and will not buy them any more.

    1. While Sarah lee’s pastry may be okay, and i reserve my judgment, Sarah Lee bread will never be as Good as colonial!!!!!!!

  97. I am 75 years old. I was born and raised in Chattanooga TN. not far from the Colonial Bakery. My family only bought Colonial bread. After I married I started moving from state, Alabama, Florida, Virginia. In Virginia we were unable to find Colonial. Six years ago we moved to Knoxville, TN. We still cannot find Colonial. Since I found out Sarah Lee now ownes Coloniel and is closing all of Colonial bakeries, I have desided to not buy any of Sarah Lee products again. Yes Colonial was very good bread. Texture was the smoothest bread out there. Every thing else is course and nontasty. I give Sarah Lee failing grades on everything. Too Bad….

  98. I wondered why I couldn’t fine Colonial Lite in the stores anymore. Now I know why. NO Sara Lee for me. Sorry.

  99. Have been to Wal-mart, Kroger, Food Lion and Piggly Wiggly, No Colonial Wheat Light. Apparently what is left there goes immediately. We do not like the Sara Lee Brand so are you or are you not making the White or Wheat in the light Breads?????????????

  100. I am so glad I found this site. I have used Colonial bread for many years. In the last few or more months, it became increasingly hard to find. Now I know why. I just got finished sending an email on the Sara lee site regarding taking Colonial off the market. I told them that whomever the DUMMY was that would allow this to happen is making a big mistake. And I told them that if Colonial disappears, I will NEVER buy another Sara Lee product and I really mean that. Thanks for the Info on your site about this 😉

  101. My Dad worked for Colonial Bread in Indianapolis and retired from there after 34 yrs service. He has a metal colonial bread semi toy truck still in the original box. He wondered if it had any value. We have boxes of Colonial pencils among other Colonial goodies. I still have fond memories of getting warm uncut buns off the conveyor to eat and the smell. If anyone knows anything about the truck, please feel free to email me at : patti@tpcphoto.net thanks!

  102. Coloial bread was a very big brand name in Des Moines Iowa. We had a bakery near down town that closed several years ago. The large neon sign that was atop the bakery is still there! The city of Des Moines bought the bakery when they closed it and now is a central kitchen that prepairs meals for Des Moines Public Schools. The building is very old, but in fantastic shape. The city restored the old neon sign and it is lit some times. Travelers Insurance also has a large neon sign that was also restored after years of neglect, after the Travelers was bought out and moved. It is a large red umbrella. I thought that it would be fun to note that the Travelers neon sign, a red umbrella, was the insperation to a world famouse artist Clouse Oldenburg. He erected a very large umbrella scupture in Nolan Plaza.

  103. As most of the people here in the south I grew up with colonial bread, and it was the only bread my family would buy. my grand mother lived just down the street in Atlanta from the bakery and I loved to go to her house just to be able to smell the bread being made. As I have grown and A family of my own Colonial was still (and still Is) the only bread we like. I don’t know if most of you have noticed but ever since Sara Lee has taken over the bread is not the same, the quality has went down hill bad. loves are coming out with holes all in the bread, bread not being sliced right and twist ties get put on half done and sometimes not even in the center. it seems like Sara Lee just doesn’t care about that brand anymore. I do hope that they don’t get rid of this brand and hope they bring back the quality we have always knowen and love.

  104. The Colonial Baking Company-My uncle used to work as a route supervisor out of the Atlanta, Ga. bakery. I believe it was on the east side of town, and had many workers. As a child, my classmates and I took a field trip to observe the bread being baked. I remember the long conveyor filled with loaves of bread going around overhead. I still have all kinds of memorabilia. Back in the 1950’s that was the only brand we ate. If it wasn’t Colonial, we would not eat it. As they say “Colonial is Good Bread.”

    1. who was your uncle? I along with my dad did also.

  105. I remember as a child growing up in Ozark, Alabama, that we would have teams of people dressed in Colonial Bread uniforms who brought highly trained police dogs to the school to perform. I have never been able to find out who these people were, or why Colonial Bread sponsored them. Does anybody else remember this? Thanks!

  106. Hey, I found a couple old Colonial Bread trucks here in Georgia that back in some woods by the Rail Road tracks…

  107. as a former resident of chattanooga,tenn. i always enjoyed colonial bread.i toohate to see these brands vanish form the american scene like so many others have.

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