Mishawaka bakeries desperately fought against the national Ward Baking Company that was underselling its bread to put local bakeries out of business and then raise the price of bread. Their ad spells out the struggle against big companies everythere: men from a distant city with no other interest than profit destroying local businesses.

Ward’s mass production was hurting consumers also in their health: their products Tip Top, Wonder Bread, and Hostess Cakes were devitalised since wheat germ and bran gummed up the machines and shortened shelf life. In return, Ward was in the forefront of “enriching” breads and even created a laboraotry devoted to additives.

So in both instances Ward can be seen as an example of where industry went so disastrouly wrong, at least as the consumer is concerned for the company was highly profitable.

Today consumers seem ready to demand age old, slower and smaller production. In South Bend Elder Bread is a good example. Lauren Barry makes flavorful and wholesome bread, as good as any I loved in Europe. @theelderbread

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Memoir Writing & Family History Research

I love to tell stories about history and family. But I also love to help others on their journey to tell their own stories from getting started to getting published. I have done workshops on memoir writing and family history research, written a monthly piece in the newsletter of the local Jewish Federation called “Telling Our Stories,” and, of course, learnt, often the hard way, by telling my own story.

I will post examples of what I’ve learnt, but I also am happy to answer your questions or hear about your experiences. Feel free to contact me, either by responding here or sending me an email at