FIND OUT: what happens when the delivery truck is your only ride
Ina Rosenberg recounts an eventful trip to Saint Mary's in the Progressive Bakery truck.
Building upon the success of our first ever Finding South Bend’s Jewish History scavenger hunt, we bring you a series of stories told firsthand by community members whose families were instrumental in building South Bend’s Jewish-owned businesses and institutions.
Brothers Louis Cohen and Sam Okon* bought Progressive Bakery from their older brother, Abe Cohen, in 1939. The bakery was generally considered a commercial bakery, though individual customers also bought from Progressive.
*Louis changed his name to Cohen to be the same as his brother Abe, while Sam kept the original family name.
Ina Rosenberg, daughter of Louis Cohen, remembers as a kid going with the family on many deliveries (click the video above to hear Ina’s story). The bakery delivered bread to Notre Dame dining halls, Italian restaurants, immigrant bakeries, and many other businesses throughout the area. One of their most loved dishes was their famous apple slices (click here for the recipe). They operated the business until the mid-1970s, when they sold it to one of their employees.
The photo shown here is of the corner of S. Michigan Street and Western Avenue facing southwest, circa 1970s. Progressive Bakery was located on this block behind another Jewish-owned business, Weiss' Delicatessen, at 419 1/2 S. Michigan Street, to the right of Inwood’s, visible above the box truck on the far left side of the photo.
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