Victoria-based Wendel’s Specialty Bread

Victoria-based Wendel’s Specialty Breads proves healthy can still taste good.
A sample of loaves from Wendel’s including (from left): Rustic Pan Rye, Honey Whole Grain, Simply Whole Wheat, and Cranberry Walnut. Inset: Bag from Rustic Pan Rye, featuring Wendel’s likeness and his nickname “Poppo,” which is what his nine grandchildren affectionately called him.

When Wendel Strong started baking bread, he was aiming to make something healthier than the processed products he was finding on store shelves, but his first mission was to make it taste good.

In 2010, Strong turned his bread-baking hobby into a business when he launched Wendel’s Specialty Breads with his wife Norma, daughter Jami and son-in-law Luke Johnson, of Victoria.

And Strong’s tasty but healthy breads—they are low in sugar made without chemical preservatives, eggs, fat or dairy, and four varieties are also low in sodium—caught on. Wendel Strong passed away in 2014, but the company he built with his family lives on.

The company specializes in seven varieties of bread that have “American flavor with a European bite or chew,” as Luke Johnson says Strong described it. If you’ve never tried Wendel’s bread, Johnson recommends starting out with the Simple Whole Wheat, the Honey Whole Grain and the Rustic Pan Rye (the last option is low in gluten). He adds that the Cranberry Walnut bread makes excellent French toast.

Find Wendel’s Specialty Breads at Super Target, Mackenthun’s Fine Foods, Lakewinds Food Co-op, Jerry’s Foods and Whole Foods