The story of H&S Bakery is a classic American success story. It starts with the Paterakis and Tsakalos families, who came from Greece to make a new and better life. Isadore "Steve" Paterakis came to America in 1921 with his wife, Kyriaki, and their daughters, Despina and Liberty. Their son John was born in 1929. Meanwhile, Roanthi and Nicholas Tsakalos also emigrated from Greece. Their son Harry married Liberty Paterakis, bringing the two families together. In 1943, Harry and Steve, for whom H&S is named, opened a bakery together. They started by making Italian bread by hand and baking it in an old brick flat-hearth oven.
H&S Bakery was incorporated in 1962, setting its sights on the rapidly growing foodservice industry in which it plays a dominant role today. In 1965, the Athena Automatic Rolls division opened as the company's first fully automated roll plant, which eventually grew into the multi-state Northeast Foods division that specializes in fast casual dining services.The family continued to grow, too. When John Paterakis was 23, he inherited his father’s interest in the bakery. In 1950, he wed Antoinette Apostolou, and a new generation of six children came along. This third generation is actively involved in the business and now even some of their children have started working with them.
Still family owned and operated to this day, H&S Bakery and its affiliates are comprised of 14 divisions operating in seven states, with distribution in 23 states and still growing. The company is made up of more than 2,000 employees with a fleet of 400 delivery vans and more than 200 tractor-trailers. It has carved a niche for itself in the specialty bread category, and many of its products are still hearth baked for traditional European flavor and crust. H&S Bakery has continued its growth in the foodservice industry with the production of hearth-baked bread, rolls, bagels, and English Muffins.
The company's divisions bake a variety of products for restaurants and supermarkets, including customized fresh and frozen private label programs for European specialty bread products. H&S also operates its own outlet store in Baltimore's Fells Point neighborhood just across the street from the bakery. The appetizing aromas of cinnamon raisin and rye bread waft throughout the streets of the city, as row after row of fresh baked goods come off the production line.
Neither H&S Bakery, with all its extensive divisions and holdings, nor its family members have strayed from their Baltimore roots. The family continues to support Baltimore’s waterfront growth, including Harbor East and other economic development projects. They also contribute to a wide variety of community activities.
Lured to America by a dream for a better life, the family continues to give back to the people that helped make it possible for them to realize their dreams. H&S Bakery continues to flourish because its people share the same core values as Harry and Steve when they first started their bakery: hard work, dedication to the community, and pride of achievement.