It all started with Rabbi Dov Behr
The B. Manischewitz Company, LLC traces its beginnings back to the spring of 1888, when Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz opened a small Matzo bakery in Cincinnati, Ohio.
A humble beginning
It was largely from his spiritual concerns that he set out to make matzo or unleavened bread for Passover, first for his family and a few friends, but soon for many of the devout Jews of the city. His bakery soon evolved into a successful business, innovative and prosperous––though never inattentive to the spiritual needs of its customers.
From small bakery to booming business
By the end of the century, demand for his matzo had become so great that Rabbi Manischewitz turned to the use of gas-fired ovens, replacing the older coal stoves being used by other Jewish bakers. The newer ovens allowed for much more careful control of the baking speed, insuring a consistent and standard quality to the matzos.
During the early 1900’s Manischewitz introduced portable traveling-tunnel ovens, and was the first to package his matzos for shipment to places beyond the immediate neighborhood of his bakery. He even began shipping his matzos overseas, to such diverse places as England, Japan, France, Hungary, Egypt and New Zealand. His bright, clean bakery would become a model for future kosher bakeries, both in America and abroad. In the 1920’s Manischewitz is officially listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Matzo on the move
In 1932, the company built a second factory. Located in Jersey City, New Jersey, the plant quickly became the model for all new machine-made matzo bakeries worldwide. Closer to a much larger Jewish population than that of Cincinnati, the new factory also made distribution of the company’s product more efficient and quickly enlarged its customer base. The Manischewitz label was soon dominant in ethnic grocery stores and delicatessens in the larger East Coast cities.
Same quality, more quantity
In 1940, Manischewitz produced its first Tam Tam cracker. It signaled the initial departure from its line of matzo products. About the same time, in a licensing arrangement, Manischewitz wines began to be sold throughout the country.
In 1954, the company purchased a processing plant located in Vineland, New Jersey. The Vineland facility, manufactured all of the company’s canned and jarred products, including old familiar favorites like gefilte fish, chicken soup and borscht. The plant was primarily a hand-pack processing operation stressing careful attention to quality and flexibility.
In the 1960’s, the slogan “Man-o-Manischewitz” is coined and made popular throughout the country through various advertising campaigns. By the early 1990’s, the family business is officially transferred to private ownership.
During the 2000’s, the company re-located to Newark, NJ and changed its name to the Manischewitz Company, under which it operates today.