Ralph Leroy “Roy” Nafziger was born into baking. His entrepreneurial spirit was reflected in his business ventures, as an inventor, a pilot and horseman. At age 19 he was delivering bread by horse driven wagon for his family’s bakery. Within 19 years he would build 9 more bakeries across the midwest, eventually selling them to purity bakeries in 1925. At age 38 he retired as a multi-millionaire. With the crash of 1929, his fortunes were lost.
Roy returned to baking in 1930 leading the formation of eight independent bakeries into Interstate Baking Company. During his tenure he would grow that organization to 32 baking plants producing such strong regional breads as Weber’s Butternut, Merita, Eddy’s and Sweetheart. He proposed the creation of the “Dolly Madison” cakes division in 1937. As an inventor he developed the first rotary oven with front-loading capabilities as well as the first creme depositor.
Click on the images below to view .pdf files of the inductee’s biography and plaque.