Little Debbie

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McKee: A family bakery

The McKee story began during the height of the Great Depression when young entrepreneur O.D. McKee began selling 5 cent snack cakes from the back of his car. He was just out of college and newly married, and he was eager to get into the baking business. Soon after, he and his wife, Ruth, bought a small, failing bakery, using the family car as collateral. Money was so tight they had to put up a sheet near the back of the bakery for the family’s living quarters.

Despite years of great adversity, O.D. and Ruth’s rare determination finally began to pay off in 1960 when they began selling the first family pack of baked goods, naming them after their granddaughter, Debbie. Around this time, the company finally began making a steady profit.

The bakery continued to grow but remained a family bakery. O.D. and Ruth’s sons, Ellsworth and Jack, eventually took leadership positions, and today Ellsworth and Jack’s children hold leadership roles. They are beginning to introduce the 4th generation of the McKee family to the business.

McKee Foods stands as a living legacy of a young couple with a big dream. O.D. and Ruth shared a strong commitment to family values that remains our company’s foundation today.

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For more information, visit www.littledebbie.com.