Thomas' is a brand of English muffins and bagels in North America. It is owned by Bimbo Bakeries USA, one of the largest baking companies in the US and which also owns Entenmann's, Boboli, Sara Lee, Stroehmann, and Arnold bread companies. Advertisements for the muffins place emphasis on their "nooks and crannies." The company also produces toasting/swirl breads, pitas, and wraps.
The company was founded by Samuel Bath Thomas (1855–1919). In 1874, he immigrated from England to New York City and after other menial jobs began working in a bakery. By 1880, he had purchased his own bakery at 163 Ninth Avenue, where he featured his namesake muffins which were baked on a griddle, not an oven. The business expanded to 337 West 20th Street (a plaque designates the building as "The Muffin House"). Thomas died in 1919, and the company, S.B. Thomas, was inherited by his daughter and nephews and incorporated. It was later owned by George Weston Bakeries.
Some television commercials for the muffins have highlighted Thomas' immigrant story, joking about how disappointed Thomas' fans in England supposedly were when he decided to take his muffins to America. (Whether the muffins were invented after Thomas had moved to the US is unclear, but the comments in the commercials are not intended to be accurate and are used for a humorous purpose.)
In 2010, the company won a trade secret suit when an executive uploaded the company's recipes and retired to work for Hostess. Annual sales in 2010 for Thomas' English Muffins was estimated to be US$500 million.
- Bimbo Bakeries, Inc. v. Botticella (PDF), 613 F.3d 102 (3d Cir. 2010), July 27, 2010, retrieved August 14, 2017 – via UScourts.gov
- "Our Brands". bimbobakeriesusa.com. Bimbo Bakeries USA. Archived from the original on September 8, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
- Vasquez, Emily (July 28, 2006). "Do You Know the Muffin Man Was on West 20th Street?". The New York Times. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
- "Best Thing since Sliced Bread — Part III". wholepop.com; Whole Pop Magazine. MAXIMA Multimedia. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
- Neuman, William (August 6, 2010). "A Man With Muffin Secrets, but No Job With Them". The New York Times.
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