In 1925, three Lewis Brothers: Amos, Armold, and Jack mortgaged their mother’s house and opened a bakery in southern Illinois. In 1944, Jack Lewis Sr. with his wife Josephine purchased the bakery and grew the company into a major regional bakery, introducing “Bunny Bread” to the region in 1947.
Among his accomplishments, Jack Lewis Sr. worked with the American Bakers Cooperative and was a founding member of the Independent Bakers Association. In 1968, he was selected Outstanding Small Businessman by the National Council for Development of Small Business Management. He served his community on the Anna, Illinois City Council, on the Board of Directors of the State Chamber of Commerce and the Anna National Bank.
Jack Lewis, Jr. joined the company after graduation from Florida State University in 1959. Together Jack Sr. and Jack Jr. pioneered the use of liquid fermentation, polyethylene bread bags, the continuous proof and bake system, the development of 6 strap bread pans, and the use of IT Systems in alternative bakery distribution.
Focusing on emerging nutrition research and consumer trends, Lewis was the first company in the baking industry to remove all Trans Fats from the entire line of bread and buns. In 1991, Lewis developed and introduced Healthy Life Bread, a line of fat free, reduced calorie and high fiber bread.
Jack Jr. has given back to the industry by serving as Chairman of the American Bakers Association, the International Baking Industry Exposition, the American Bakery Cooperative, and as a Board Member of WE Long and the Quality Bakers Association. In 1997, he was selected as Indiana Entrepreneur of the Year.
Today the Lewis family continues the baking tradition, baking and delivering the very best and healthiest bread products to consumers, while leading the industry in manufacturing, distribution and marketing innovations.
Click on the images below to view .pdf files of the inductee’s biography and plaque.