The Humble Beginnings of Little Debbie
In the midst of a trying era known as the Great Depression, a tenacious couple, Od and Ruth McKee, began their entrepreneurial journey. They started modestly, selling five-cent snack cakes from the rear of their 1928 Whippet. Such was the birth of a dream that would one day transform the face of snack cakes in the U.S.
The Inception of the Oatmeal Cream Pie
The McKee couple bought a failing bakery to further their ambitions, even living in its back room to make ends meet. They soon began experimenting with their bakery’s hard oatmeal cookies. After a series of formula changes, they managed to soften the cookies and sandwiched them together with fluffy cream filling. Thus, the famed oatmeal cream pie was born.
From Adversity to Success
The McKee’s venture gradually blossomed. They ingeniously decided to sell small snack cakes at a low price, a move that proved incredibly successful. By 1954, they purchased King’s Bakery, run by Ruth’s brother, and rechristened it McKee Baking Company.
Expansion and the Birth of Little Debbie
The Little Debbie brand was created in the 1960s as the family prepared to move into mass production. An image of their four-year-old granddaughter, Debbie, became the logo that would be recognized by millions of shoppers and snackers daily. This was the first time the brand’s treats were marketed under the name Little Debbie.
Introducing More Treats to the Lineup
The 1960s saw an expansion in the variety of snacks offered. A trip to a European trade show inspired the creation of the Swiss roll, adding to the expanding lineup that included the Banana Twins, Swiss Rolls, Zebra Cakes, Raisin Cream Pies, and Nutty Buddy, among others.
The Legacy of Little Debbie
Over the years, Little Debbie has continued to innovate and introduce new treats. From being designated as the official snack cake of the 1982 World’s Fair to the debut of the iconic Christmas Tree Cakes in 1985, and featuring in the classic 80s film “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, Little Debbie has indeed become a part of our collective nostalgia.
As we reflect on the journey of Little Debbie, from a humble start to a beloved snack cake brand, we can’t help but fondly remember our favorite Little Debbie treat growing up. So, let’s reminisce together in the video below because every bite of a Little Debbie snack cake is a bite of our shared history. Be sure to like, share, and let us know your favorite Little Debbie snack.