Where is Rhodes dough manufactured? Who owns the Rhodes company? Find the answers to these questions and learn about the 3 Ken Farnsworth's involved in the history of Rhodes from the 19...
Today's post is the 2nd in a 2-part series about the history of the Rhodes company. Click here to read part 1, Rhodes History: Beginnings.
In 1962, Ken Farnsworth Sr., a food broker (Ken-Son Sales), saw the potential of Rhodes in Oregon, and later introduced Rhodes Bake-N-Serv to grocery stores for Champion Bake-N-Serv—the Idaho franchisee. Under Ken Sr.’s sales leadership, dinner rolls were added to the Rhodes line and successfully introduced to food service and grocery stores. His eldest son, Ken Jr. introduced Rhodes Bake-N-Serv to Utah in 1964. In 1975, Mr. Rhodes gave Ken Jr. an opportunity to become a partner in the Champion Bake-N-Serv franchise owned by Mr. Rhodes which served Utah and Idaho at that time.
A devout Seventh-day Adventist, Herb Rhodes felt a deep concern for Christian education. As a result, he located many of his plants near Seventh-day Adventist schools to provide jobs for students. Today, this tradition continues at both Rhodes plants. Herb Rhodes always loved and enjoyed life. Everyday was a new adventure to him. He stated that he never wanted to retire as nothing could be less interesting to him. He passed away February 8, 1980, as he wished, still working at 84.
Mr. Rhodes grandson, Tom Duncan, inherited Rhodes Bakery and Refrigeration which manufactured bakery and freezer equipment. In 2006, it was purchased by John Stricker who continues to manufacture and sell Rhodes Kook-e-King automated cookie making equipment.
Leslie Lindsay, who served faithfully as Rhodes Bake-N-Serv Secretary-Treasurer for many years and helped Mr. Rhodes manage the business from 1952-1980, continued to manage Rhodes Bake-N-Serv, the franchisor, for the Rhodes family after Mr. Rhodes death until 1985 when it was acquired by Oregon Foods Division of Labatt, Toronto, Canada. This was soon after Labatt acquired Dakota Bake-N-Serv which was the largest Rhodes franchisee. Rhodes Bake-N-Serv and Dakota Bake-N-Serv were purchased by Ken Farnsworth Jr. owner of Champion Bake-N-Serv, from Labatt Breweries, which ended the franchise concept Oct. 26,1990. One firm, Rhodes International, Inc. became the sole manufacturer of Rhodes frozen dough serving the United States and Canada with all rights to the Rhodes Bake-N-Serv and Dakota Hearth brands.
Today, Rhodes Bake-N-Serv is the brand name used by Rhodes International, Inc. which is owned and managed by Ken Farnsworth Jr., his eldest son “Kenny” Farnsworth, President, and Erik Lehnardt. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah with plants in Caldwell, Idaho and Columbus, Wisconsin, Rhodes Bake-N-Serv supplies grocery stores, club stores, and mass merchandisers across the United States. Rhodes is also available to restaurants, schools, and other institutions through food service distributors.
Rhodes Bake-N-Serv continues the tradition of quality started by Mr. Herbert Cecil Rhodes Jr. and all the dedicated people who have made Rhodes “America’s Favorite Frozen Dough”.
Just recently, on August 7, 2011, our beloved founder, Ken Farnsworth Sr. passed away at the age of 91. Always active in spreading the good word about Rhodes products, he continued to check on stores and pass out coupons until just before his death. Coming up next in Rhodes History - A Tribute to Ken Farnsworth Sr.