Where We Live: Franz Bakery serving Portland for 115 years


Franz Spirit of Giving is an ongoing holiday tradition

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The giant loaf of bread spinning atop the Franz Headquarters and Bakery in Northeast Portland is an iconic local landmark.

The 4th-generation family business started baking bread for Portlanders 115 years ago. Every holiday season, Franz gives money to needy people and non-profits in communities it serves — $2500 each to 25 non-profits and $500 to 50 individuals and families.

Joseph Franz and Englebert Franz in undated photos (Courtesy to KOIN)

“We’ve given away over $200,000 over the past 10 years with the spirit of giving, and yes, we encourage our customers to nominate,” said Victoria Krabill with Franz Family Bakery. “It’s really great, especially last year with the fires. We had a lot of entries in regards to people losing literally everything.”

It’s part of the mission of the baked goods empire that began in 1896 shortly after 15-year-old Englebert Franz emigrated to the US from Austria to work at his uncle’s bakery. Englebert’s brother Joe joined him a couple years later.

“They actually founded the bakery here on Northeast 11th in Portland,” Krabill said.

Originally called United States Bakery, the family-owned business acquired other bakeries and grew. Now Franz has 11 bakeries in 7 states.

Franz employees are on the front line when it comes to being in the bakery and actually delivering product to the store during the pandemic,” she said. “And we didn’t miss a beat.”

As Franz celebrates a decade of the Spirit of Giving, it looks back on a stories history.

Franz Spirit of Giving

“We’re in everyone’s lives every day,” Krabill said. “How can we give back to those in need and this kind of brings us back full circle with our customers and those in need.”

You can nominate deserving people and non-profits on the Franz website through November 21. If your nominee is chosen, Franz will give you free bread for a year.

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