Charles Edward Entenmann, who helped turn his family’s New York-based bakery into a national brand, died in Florida at age 92.
Entenmann died Feb. 24 in Hialeah, his son, Charles William Entenmann, told Newsday. He was laid to rest in a private funeral at Oakwood Cemetery.
Charles E. Entenmann was a grandson of William Entenmann, a German immigrant who founded a bakery in Brooklyn in 1898, delivering baked goods door to door.
The business moved to Bay Shore, and the founder’s son, William Entenmann Jr., took over. William Jr.’s wife and three sons inherited the bakery after his death in 1951.
According to Newsday, Charles Entenmann focused on engineering and technical aspects of Entenmann’s, while his brother Robert specialized in sales and his brother William concentrated on baking.
The new generation of Entenmanns began delivering to supermarkets and pioneered the use of “see-through” cake boxes to lure shoppers.
After expanding Entenmann’s nationally in the 1970s, the family sold the business to pharmaceutical company Warner-Lambert. The brand has been sold several times since then and is now owned by Bimbo Bakeries USA.
The Entenmann’s factory on Fifth Avenue in Bay Shore has been closed since 2014, after nearly a century on Long Island, shifted its productions to other locations, including Pennsylvania.
Charles Entenmann, known as Charlie, moved to Florida in the 1980s and founded Biolife LLC, which created technology to help seal wounds, his son said. He also supported and conducted research on cold fusion.
“Nobody knows how he got so smart. He never went to school,” his son said. “I don’t think he ever forgot anything he read.”
While Entenmann’s cakes and pastries have tempted generations of Americans to break their diets, Charlie Entenmann was not among the devotees, his son said.
“I’m going to tell you something that’s been pretty much a secret, most of my life anyway,” his son told Newsday. “He didn’t eat Entenmann’s cake … He just wasn’t a dessert guy.”
with Nicholas Esposito
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