Leidenheimer Baking Company

Leidenheimer Baking Company
Simon Bolivar Ave.
New Orleans, LA

Leidenheimer Baking Co. celebrated its centennial in 1996 with a new design for the sides of its white bread trucks: local cartoonist Bunny Matthews drew his already beloved Vic and Nat’ly Broussard, typical denizens of New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, sharing a drippy shrimp po-boy and jointly exclaiming, “Sink Ya Teeth Into A Piece of New Orleans Cultcha – A Leidenheimer Po-Boy!” George Leidenheimer, a native of Deidesheim, Germany, launched the business in 1896 by baking breads in the style of his homeland, but it was his New Orleans-style French bread – used most famously to make po-boy sandwiches — that endeared his bakery to New Orleanians and propelled it into the twenty-first century as an invaluable contributor to New Orleans’ unique food cultcha. The bakery is now in its third generation and is the city’s largest producer of New Orleans French bread. Robert J. Whann, IV (“Sandy”), and his sister, Katherine Whann, manage the business in a section of town they call “the bakery neighborhood.” The siblings wear the mantle of responsibility proudly, and with humility. “We don’t take it for granted, I can tell you that,” Sandy says.

Date of interview:

July 20, 2006


Sara Roahen


Sara Roahen

The emails that we received from total strangers — they asked us to come and set up our ovens and bake breads in their garages. I think it was then, for me, that I thought ‘Gee, everybody else gets it like I do.’

I guess as a child you really don’t understand what an important part of your life a food culture really is — but it was something that was very important to my dad. You know he certainly stoked those fires in us.

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