History of Three Brothers Bakery
It all began in Chrzanow, Poland, in a building in which Napoleon had spent a night. We are guessing the bakery in Poland opened between 1825 and 1841. The last known name for the bakery in Poland was Morris Jucker’s Bakery. When two of Morris’ children, Sigmund and Sol — the twins, were ten years old they went to work at the Bakery because there was a bakers strike in 1932, and there was no one to work. Everything was truly handmade, for there were no mixers. The dough was placed in a trough, and everything was mixed by hand, developing great arm muscles! The European era of our family bakery ended when Sigmund and Sol were 19 years old, and the family was sent to Nazi concentration camps in 1941.
Sigmund Jucker, one of the original Three Brothers stands in front of a photograph of his brothers taken by Mark Seliger.
We relate our story to you as told to by Sigmund Jucker, one of the original Three Brothers, of Three Brothers Bakery fame. On May 8th, 1945, Sigmund was released from the concentration camp. On Liberation Day he was fortunate to have survived with his two other brothers and their older sister. On May 8th, 1949, (note the date), Sigmund, his twin brother, Sol, and younger brother Max opened Three Brothers Bakery on Holman Street in Houston, Texas. Sigmund remembers the first day they sold $19 worth of product. That first day taught them a very valuable lesson.
If you don’t have parking, your business will struggle. Hence they struggled and again, there were no mixers, so everything was handmade, as it was in Europe, and to give you an idea of pricing on opening day, the coffee ring, which we still sell today, was $.55 and a 1.5 lb rye was $.50! Yes our prices have gone up, but not very much in 55 years (and we now have mixers!).
In May of 1954, they moved the Bakery to Almeda St. Yes, they had great parking and brought in $90 or $96 on their first day. They had arrived!! The bakery kept growing, and they then moved in May of 1960 to South Braeswood. If you know Houston, Braeswood is a major street, but in 1960, the Bakery was at the end of the road and cows living just beyond the bakery. They had great parking, but no one knew they were there or that the road went that far! Well the Three Brothers hung in there and became a Houston institution. In 1968, they hired their first employee. So for thirteen years, it was just the Three Brothers!
In Poland, the people did not eat very sweet foods, so the brothers learned to make American cakes and pastries. But many Three Brothers baked goods still use the original Eastern European formula, including rye bread, challah (egg bread), danish, cheese pockets, Kaiser rolls, Biales, traditional bagels, onion boards, onion pockets and others. Our famous gingerbread recipe was modified in America in 1960, and we still use this same formula today.
We are now a full service bakery making savory eastern European style breads and The Bakery’s closing even managed to make a challah shortage in Houston during the Jewish holidays — something so important it was covered on the front page of The Houston Chronicle.
Three Brothers continues to be owned and managed by members of the Jucker family. Sigmund’s son, Robert — a 5th generation baker, now runs the business along with his wife, Janice and Aunt Estelle, Sol’s wife. So when you shop at Three Brothers Bakery, whether it is in one of our stores or in our online shop, we want you to feel a part of our family. Every time we bake and you savor something from our bakery, we give to you a part of our family.
The Jucker Family