HENDLERS: The Velvet Kind, An Image Gallery Part 3

Posted on August 13th, 2018 by

Article by Rachel Kassman. Originally published in Generations 2011 – 2012: Jewish Foodways.  Information on how to purchase your own copy here. 

Flavors of the Month!

Vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry were big business for Hendler Creamery, but that didn’t stop them from experimenting! When Chase and Sanborn introduced the concept of dated coffee, Hendler Creamery  gained permission to use the phrase and invented a whole new flavor of ice cream – coffee with dates!  The company also made specialty flavors for particular customers, like ginger and peppermint for Hutzler’s department store and tomato sherbet for the Southern Hotel. But perhaps the best remembered specialty flavor was Hendler’s Egg-Nog ice cream. Hendler’s was the only ice cream company in the United States to have a liquor license (for blending liquor into ice cream) so that the Egg-Nog ice cream could be flavored with pure rum.

A calendar of monthly flavor specialties, provide by Hendler’s to various ice cream vendors.

Anonymous Gift. 1998.47.

This billboard shares Hendler’s preferred recipe for a holiday egg nog! Anonymous Gift, 1998.47.13.17.

Christmas Charity

December wasn’t just a month for Egg-Nog ice cream. L. Manuel Hendler started a company tradition of sending free ice cream to orphanages and to children in hospital wards. Advertisements in the paper invited institutions to participate and the list of beneficiaries grew each year. Hendler’s also sent ice cream to the penitentiary and even once, during World War II, to American prisoner-of-war camps!


Billboards advertising the Hendler Christmas donations of ice cream. Photos by Harry B. Leopold. Anonymous Gift, 1998.47.10.1, 11.31, 11.33.


Baltimore has long played an important role in America’s ice cream industry – after all, Mr. Jacob Fussell, the “father of wholesale ice cream manufacturing,” was a Baltimorean. L. Manuel Hendler was the chairman of the Ice Cream Industry’s National Centennial Committee, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of Mr. Fussell’s feat here in Baltimore in 1951. But the Hendler Creamery Company will forever reign supreme as “The Velvet Kind” of Baltimore memory.

Check out the crowd at the Ice Cream Centennial luncheon! Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Boltanksy, 1996.152.3.

~The End~

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HENDLERS: The Velvet Kind, An Image Gallery Part 2

Posted on July 16th, 2018 by

Article by Rachel Kassman. Originally published in Generations 2011 – 2012: Jewish Foodways.  Information on how to purchase your own copy here. 

What’s a Kewpie?

These cherubic characters, inspired by the Roman god of desire Cupid, first appeared in the Ladies Home Journal in 1909. Created by illustrator Rose O’Neill, the Kewpie has graced everything from books to pianos to ice cream advertisements.  Hendler Creamery Company used the Kewpie as its mascot for many years – Manuel Hendler even had a few ties with Kewpies hand-painted on the silk by Ms. O’Neill.

Advertising cards featuring Rose O’Neill’s “kewpies” for Hendler’s Ice Cream. All are signed by the artist. Gift of Maxine A. Cohen, 1990.180.01, 4

Rose O’Neill (1874-1944) was a prolific artist, inventor and suffragette. She produced art and illustrations for Harper’sLife, Collier’s, and Puck, among many others, published four novels and a poetry collection (all of which she illustrated) and exhibited her work both in the United States and abroad. She even inspired a song, “Rose of Washington Square! You can learn more about Rose HERE and HERE.

Left: Rose O’Neill, photo by Gertrude Kasebier, c. 1907. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, CP 65.2012.001. Right: Illustration by Rose O’Neill. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, CP 65.2012.002.

Pint box with Kewpie.  Anonymous Gift, 1998.47.15.2.

Billboards with Kewpies. Anonymous Gift, 1998.47.4.114, 163.

Sennett Bathing Beauties

Mack Sennett girls promoting Hendler’s – their holiday-themed costumes let viewers know that Hendler’s Ice Cream is for every season! Museum purchase with assistance from Jack and Ellen Kahan Zager, 1996.148.7.

These Sennett Bathing Beauties demonstrate that ice cream is for all seasons, from Christmas to the Fourth of July! Beginning in 1915, Mack Sennett, the “innovator of slapstick comedy in film,” brought together a group of girls known as the Sennett Bathing Beauties to appear in comedy shorts, promotional material, and at promotional events. The somewhat risqué nature of the group – being photographed in bathing costumes – proved a popular marketing device. Hendler Creamery Company clearly decided to capitalize on the phenomenon.

Mack Sennet, 1910. CP 66.2012.001. The Sennett Girls at work. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, CP 65.2012.006

Continue to Part III of HENDLERS: The Velvet Kind, An Image Gallery

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Family Fare: Baltimore Jewish Food Businesses Part 6

Posted on May 24th, 2017 by

Article by Jennifer Vess. Originally published in Generations 2011 – 2012: Jewish Foodways

Part VI: Marketing and Expansion: “We have to expand whether we want to or not.”[1]

Miss parts 1-5? Start here.

Tulkoff's Horseradish Advertisement, c. 1960s. JMM 1998.18.14

Tulkoff’s Horseradish Advertisement, c. 1960s. JMM 1998.18.14

In the time of the neighborhood deli and corner grocery store, proximity and word of mouth brought in business to the small shops.  People walked to the closest bakery or learned from their friends if a better confectionary might be a few blocks further away.  But by the early twentieth century, advertising and marketing became necessary for survival and particularly for growth.  As more and more people owned cars and installed refrigerators, going long distances to stock up on food became more feasible.  Sticking close to home wasn’t really necessary any more, opening up far more options for consumers.  For owners who wanted to stay in business or for those who wanted to expand, advertising and marketing became crucial.

Advertising came in many forms.  Large businesses with a big workforce and money to invest could buy ads of varying sizes in the local newspapers.  The Jewish owned businesses in Baltimore reached out to the Jewish community through the Baltimore Jewish Times.  Smaller businesses gave money in return for being featured in programs for local events, such as the Pioneer Club dance of 1937.  Owners could show their support for the community as well as promote themselves.  Businesses might also distribute fliers with their specials, or cover Baltimore with signs.

Name recognition has always been important to businesses.  Turn of the century dairies used bottles imprinted with their names and logos.  The small shops that became big businesses in Baltimore such as Hendlers Creamery, Silbers Bakery, and Tulkoff’s Horseradish Products Company, put their name and logo on product labels, signs, cake tins, and bags.

Pint bottle from Snesil Dairy. Courtesy of Marion Snesil. JMM 1984.16.1

Pint bottle from Snesil Dairy. Courtesy of Marion Snesil. JMM 1984.16.1

Aside from ads, packaging, and slogans, businesses big and small used promotional techniques to set themselves apart from their competitors and expand their customer base.  Paul Wartzman, whose family owned Wartzman’s bakery once commented that, “Stone’s was the most successful bakery. They catered to a lot of non-Jews because they came out with a gimmick: hot rolls every half hour. I’ll never forget that. They killed all the other bakers. People would rush in for their hot rolls every half hour.”[2]  Nates and Leon’s deli meanwhile drew in the crowds by offering something no one else did – round the clock service.  Twenty-four hours a day customers could find a sandwich.  This was particularly attractive to the people leaving nightclubs in the early hours of the morning.[3] Stones Bakery and Nates and Leon’s had more than just gimmicks in common – they both catered to the broader Baltimore community, expanding beyond the local Jewish residents.  Expansion was a key step in the survival of Jewish food businesses.

As marketing brought in new customers some small businesses outgrew their first floor shops.  Wolf Salganik began as a butcher in a single building with his home on the second floor, but by the 1930s he and his sons had taken over multiple buildings where they carried out their wholesale meat processing on three floors.[4]  Harry Tulkoff followed a similar pattern, starting out in a small grocery store in the 1920s then buying up several, connected buildings to convert into a single processing plant on Lombard Street before eventually moving out to their current larger location.  Hendlers Creamery, Saval Foods Corporation, Silber’s bakery, Baltimore Spice, and others did likewise.  Some of these businesses grew and sold out to other corporations, but others still exist today, still running and still growing and still in the family.

Early Saval Foods location. JMM CP 21.2011.8

Early Saval Foods location. JMM CP 21.2011.8

Expansion could mean creating an entirely new business.  The corner grocery store was the forerunner of the modern supermarket, but supermarkets are more than just big grocery stores – they are a new entity that moved away from early twentieth century specialization to generalization.  Baltimore saw its first supermarkets before World War II.  Businesses like Food Fair (a national supermarket chain that started in the late 1920s) and the local, Jewish-owned Food-O-Rama and Shreiber’s supermarket changed how families shopped. “The Shreiber Brothers did the impossible. They made a store where you had not just meats, but you had groceries. Then they brought in their own baker.  By adding on they had the supermarket. It [may have been] the first supermarket in the entire country.”[5]  Today, in addition to regional and nationwide chains Baltimore has local supermarkets such as Eddies, and Seven Mile Market, the latter not just Jewish owned but also aimed at the Jewish community.

Schreiber’s Grocery, 1959. JMM 1998.16.2

Schreiber’s Grocery, 1959. JMM 1998.16.2

Impact and Legacy

The stories of family-owned Jewish food businesses have not stopped being created.  Many small shops closed, leaving behind only the fond memories of scents and tastes that can never be duplicated.  Other businesses that began long ago still exist today run by third or fourth generation owners providing the old standards while staying close to their historical roots.  And new businesses continued to open.

Restaurants, bakeries, and delis continue to open, owned and operated by Jewish men and women – often to serve the Jewish community.  Local entrepreneurs (or transplants from elsewhere in the US) establish new businesses, and so do recent immigrants.  Families from places like Israel, Iran and Russia arrive in Baltimore and start their own restaurants or bakeries or delis, using their knowledge and skills of food from their former homes to support their families.  Jewish family food businesses have long been a part of the local economy, and though the world is very different today than it was a hundred years ago, the stories of living and eating and family fare remain constant.

Continue to Sidebar One: The Bluefeld Catering Story:People came from all around”


[1] Howard Saval, 1982 Baltimore Sun

[2] Paul Wartzman interview, June 5, 2006, OH 686, JMM.

[3] Mina Shavitz interview, March 33, 3002, OH 648, JMM.

[4] Gordon Salganik interview, n.d., OH 318, JMM.

[5] Louis and Philip Bluefeld interview, August 6, 1979, OH 75, JMM.

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