Old World Baking Traditions Feed a Hungry Houston
Aug 02, 2012
Holocaust survivors and Polish immigrants Sigmund, Sol, and Max Jucker arrived in Houston following World War II armed with Eastern European family recipes and a desire to start a new life. On May 8, 1949—just four years after Liberation Day when the brothers were released from Nazi concentration camps—the Juckers opened Three Brothers Bakery. Since then, their award-winning bakery has been serving up favorites like challah and rye breads, bagels, danish, and gingerbread to hungry Houstonians.
Today, the landmark bakery is owned and managed by Sigmund’s son, Robert, who oversees the business with his wife Janice and Sol’s wife Estelle. Since its opening, Three Brothers Bakery’s original store has moved twice, most recently to Braeswood Street more than 50 years ago, and in February 2012, the bakery opened a second location.
Over the years, the bakery sought financial assistance from a few local banks to support the growing business. Yet after some frustrating banking situations, the family began transitioning their business to Bank of America. The relationship has thrived for over 6 years, and when the recent expansion generated a need to develop an efficient and separate payroll system, Bank of America stepped in to help.
“We had built a great relationship with Bank of America, so we knew that we could turn to them for assistance in developing a strong payroll solution at our second location to pay our valuable employees,” said Robert Jucker. “They really came through—they treated us like people, not just another transaction. Our plan is to grow beyond two locations, and we’re excited about our connection to Bank of America. We are confident that we can open up new locations in any part of Houston, and know that there’s a bank branch nearby that will support our expansion.”
Three Brothers Bakery is a hometown favorite, and many Houstonians consider it their bakery of choice for holiday treats, wedding and other special occasion cakes, and for everyday pastry cravings. In fact, the bakery’s challah is so popular during the Jewish holidays that the store’s temporary closing after Hurricane Ike caused a shortage of the bread that made the front page of The Houston Chronicle.
Baked goods aside, the Jucker family is proud of their contributions to the Houston community, especially the homeless, the hungry, and the sick. Three Brothers Bakery provides bread each day to a number of charities, including SEARCH Homeless Services. In addition, twice a year the bakery provides cookies for children to decorate at MD Anderson’s holiday events.
“My father knew something about hunger from his days in a concentration camp, and he and his brothers passed down a legacy of caring to the rest of the family,” Robert added. “He also cared deeply for his employees and appreciated their contributions to the bakery’s success. That’s something we continue today for our 50 employees. They are like gold.”
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