RIDGEFIELD, N.J. (PRNewswire) — Harry Toufayan, founder of Toufayan Bakeries, will be inducted into the Baking Hall of Fame by the American Society of Baking. Toufayan has been widely recognized for taking pita and flatbreads from the Middle East to mainstream popularity across the US through tireless innovative commercialization in baking and marketing.
“For 2021, the Baking Hall of Fame committee selected innovators who have earned the respect of their customers, suppliers, communities and industry,” said Rowdy Brixey, chair of the A.S.B. Baking Hall of Fame Evaluation Committee and president of Brixey Engineering, Inc., Holt, Mo. “It is our honor to recognize individuals who have contributed strongly to the industry and gratifying to see consumers drawn to baked goods during these stressful times.”
The Toufayan family has been baking since 1926, initially in Egypt where the family lived before immigrating to America in the 1960s. Harry and his father began in a bakery below their two-bedroom apartment baking the pitas and other products by hand. One day, while standing in line at a supermarket deli counter in New Jersey, Harry Toufayan realized American consumers might love the pocketed pita bread his family had been making for decades. He packed up some fresh pitas and began the task of introducing deli, supermarket and health food store buyers to this new, previously unknown bread, changing the baked breads category in the process. And as demand grew, Harry thrived at working with OEMs to design and build never-before built equipment to automate the process of making the bread of his childhood in order to keep up with demand.
“We are beyond proud of our father and what he has accomplished,” said Greg, Kristine and Karen Toufayan who head Operations, Finance and Marketing within the organization. “He has taught us the value of hard work, the true meaning of integrity and everything we know and love about bread. Of course, we still have a lot to learn, which is just fine, because Harry is still very much at work every day, still striving for perfection in all the products we bake. We are thrilled to celebrate this honor with him, the entire team at Toufayan, and our cherished retail and restaurant partners nationwide.”
Those who know him best celebrate not only his ingenuity, but his philanthropic dedication. Harry Toufayan built and actively supports a church youth center in Armenia, and as a proud American citizen, has funded the expansion of local non-profits, schools and local charities and regularly steps in to help those in need nationwide. For example, in April 2020 Toufayan donated $100,000 to two different food banks to help those facing job loss due to COVID 19.
The company, which Harry Toufayan runs with his three adult children, produces more than 100 varieties of baked goods including naan, tandoori, bagels and wraps as well as innovations such as lower carb Smart Pockets™, an award-winning line of Gluten-Free wraps, and many different types of national brand equivalent cookies.