1949: Ex-GI Joe Gregor
volunteer firefighter and baker, had a problem, he couldn't
please his Avon Park customers who wanted their rolls piping
So Joe, tired of losing
customers, tried to find a solution by experimenting with
different kinds of dough and methods of baking.
Months went by with no
luck. Then one day he mixed a batch of dough, shaped it into
Parker House rolls and put them in a proofing box until they
rose. He lit the ancient gas oven a little later than usual and
it failed to preheat properly. Discouraged and weary Joe
slammed the oven door.
Suddenly, the town's
fire siren wailed two short blasts. Joe tore off his apron, ran
for the door and then remembered the rolls.
Wheeling around, he
turned off the burners, opened the oven door pulled out the tray
and...:My gosh," she shouted "This is what I've been looking
What happened was the
fire siren had interrupted the baking cycle at the right moment:
Brown 'N Serve rolls were born!
He put them back in the
oven and they browned in seven minutes, emerging yeasty-fresh
and delicious. They kept a week even without refrigeration. When word got out,
customers flocked to his door. Grocery stores, hotels and
restaurants all wanted more then he could make.
The General Mills
about the rolls. The upshot: Joe accepted their offer of
$25,000 for the roll-making process. And that was the end of
Joe’s bakery career.