Old world baking traditions feed a hungry Houston

Jun 27, 2014

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. In 1949—just four years after the brothers were released from Nazi concentration camps on Liberation Day—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, the original store has moved twice, most recently to Braeswood Street more than 50 years ago, and in 2012 the bakery opened a second location. The family marked 65 years of business in 2014 by opening a third store in Houston’s popular Heights area. The new location features a dog-friendly patio with scratch made dog biscuits, a separate marble coffee bar featuring locally roasted coffee and create-your-own cake parfait option.

Over the years, Three Brothers Bakery sought financial assistance from a few local banks to support the growing business. Yet, after some frustrating banking experiences, the family began transitioning their business to Bank of America. The relationship has thrived for over seven years, and when the previous bakery opening generated the need to develop a better payroll system, Bank of America stepped in to help. Bank of America also proved to be the best choice in regards to processing customer payments in store and online, helping the bakery to increase their margins in this area. 

In support of the bakery’s most recent expansion, the bank provided the needed financing. “This third location would never have happened without the help and support of our local banking team at Bank of America; they are absolutely a part of our success,” said Robert Jucker.

“They really came through—they treat us like people, not just another transaction,” said Jucker. “We’re excited about our connection to Bank of America. We’re confident that we can open up new locations in any part of Houston and other major cities, and know there’s a bank branch nearby that will support our expansion.”

Three Brothers Bakery remains a hometown favorite, and many Houstonians consider it their bakery of choice for holiday treats, special occasion cakes and everyday pastry cravings. In fact, the bakery’s challah is so popular during the Jewish holidays that the store’s temporary closure after a hurricane caused a bread shortage 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, hungry and sick. Three Brothers Bakery provides bread each day to a number of charities, including Star of Hope.

“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 75 employees. They’re like gold.”

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