WALDORF POUND CAKE, Port Morris, Bronx

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I’m not in Port Morris, Bronx that much. It’s a forgotten Bronx corner cut off from the rest of the borough by the beetling Bruckner Expressway, with the shallow Bronx Kill marking its southern border, the widening East River its eastern border. There was indeed once a port there, as its abandoned gantries attest (they’re just sitting there rusting, unlike the restored ones in Long Island City). But its deserted, empty streets on the weekend fascinate me — the streets are lined with hulking factories, often with faded writing indicating the wares they produced. I’ll definitely be featuring it more.

Waldorf Bakeries occupies, or occupied, a stolid brick building at Locust Avenue and East 135th (usually when a street is named Locust, it’s honoring the tree, not the insect that eats the tree). I’ve never seen Waldorf Pound Cakes on deli shelves, so I imagine it’s strictly a wholesale operation.

Some signs just look like they were made before 1960. After 1960, lettering just became more playful, more inviting. Helvetica, one of the friendliest-looking fonts, arrived in 1957, as did your webmaster. Before that, with some exception, sanserif lettering wasn’t friendly at all. It said: we have work to do. Are you doing it?

10/29/13





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8 Responses to WALDORF POUND CAKE, Port Morris, Bronx

  1. Joe Fliel says:

    Waldorf Bakers is still in business. The company started in 1944 as Maurice Pastries, Inc. Waldorf Cakes and Miss Grimble Desserts are subsidiaries of of Maurice Pastries, Inc. and are all located at 909 East 135th Street. The reason you haven’t seen any of these products on store shelves is that Waldorf/Maurice/Miss Grimble are institutional service companies, catering to hotels, restaurants and such. If you go by before noon, you can scarf up some goodies at a great price.

  2. Joe Fliel says:

    Are you all right, Kevin? Not like you to not update your page for over a day.

  3. Pat O'Rourke says:

    Port Morris in The Bronx actually goes back to before The American Revolution. Ships would bring timber from The DeLancey Plantation ( now part of The Bronx Zoo ) down The Bronx River to Port Morris where it would be loaded on England bound vessels as export. As England had long used all its available standing woods for both building and fuel to heat those buildings The Bronx played no small part in the economic health of “The Mother Country”.

  4. Gary Fonville says:

    As soon as I saw the picture, I immediately recognized it and its location. The MTA had a bus facility on the south side of 132nd Street, between Locust Avenue and Walnut Avenue (now Rose Feis Boulevard). I know this personally, since I worked at the appropriately named Walnut Bus Depot from 1984 to 1993 as a Bus Operator. I would always see the sign and wonder what happened to that company. By the way, the New York Post has its printing facility on the bus depot site, while its editorial offices are on Avenue of the Americas.

  5. Ty says:

    I did some googling on Waldorf Pound Cake because pound cake. They were at that location around 1907. They made rum soaked fruit cakes among other items. They registered with NY State in the 40′s to get in on war contracts with the feds.

    I know this is highly controversial but I liked those industrial weighted fruit cakes.

  6. Jeff B. says:

    I like the interesting way Company is abbreviated in the right sign – I haven’t seen it used very often in old or new printing, signs, etc.

    The typeface, especially on the left sign is reminiscent of Leroy lettering used by draftsman when inking drawings.

  7. Shannon says:

    Hi there. My great-great grandfather, Frank Glum, owned the Waldorf Pound Cake Company before the Great Depression. My grandmother thinks he lost the company at the end of the Great Depression. If anyone has additional information, please post here. It is very exciting to find something on the internet about the Waldorf Pound Cake Company. My grandmother has fond memories of it. Shannon

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