Heidelberg Bread: Crafting Real Bread Since 1983 

We spoke to Lynzee Bissel, the Chief Marketing Officer of  OU Kosher certified Heidelberg Bread, a multigenerational family bakery with a rich history. Lynzee shared insights about the company’s journey, her role, and their commitment to quality and tradition. 

OU Kosher: Could you give us a brief overview of the company and your role? 

Commitment to Quality Ingredients

Heidelberg Bread: My grandfather started this company in Fly Creek, NY, in 1983 after apprenticing in French bakeries. He fell in love with bread baking and began making and selling bread here. Our ingredients are minimal—just flour, water, salt, yeast—no artificial preservatives or sugar. We use unbleached, unbromated flour. Our goal is to make real bread without preservatives or sugar. 

We’ve grown since 1983 and now have a factory in Frankfort, NY, producing about 20,000 loaves a day. We distribute mainly to the Northeast and offer online shipping with next-day delivery. 

OU Kosher: Can you tell me a little bit about your role? 

Heidelberg Bread: I’ve done a bit of everything. I recently graduated with a business management degree and was appointed chief marketing officer. Right now, I focus on marketing and meetings to increase our brand awareness. Before this role, I was running the slicing machines, slicing 20,000 loaves a day. That’s how family businesses are—you do everything. 

OU Kosher: Over the 40 years, you’ve grown as a regional company, and you’re on shelves in New York City, which is a great accomplishment. 

Heidelberg Bread: Yes, but we’re not in many stores in New York City. We want to be in more, but it’s hard to enter that market compared to our local area. Our chief strategy officer focuses on this. 

OU Kosher: How did you get into Whole Foods? It’s very competitive. 

Heidelberg Bread: Our chief strategy officer made it happen. He travels and talks to grocery managers, store managers, and corporate companies, showing them our bread. After many meetings, they decided to go for it. 

OU Kosher: It definitely fits their brand. We want to get into more stores. 

Heidelberg Bread: Yes, we’re working on it. It’s a process. 

OU Kosher: Can you tell me a little bit about your kosher certification? Do you know why you decided to get kosher certification? 

Heidelberg Bread: My dad, the CEO of the company, decided to pursue kosher certification when we started the factory in 2017. He thought it would be beneficial for us and for people who eat kosher. He wanted to open that market, especially with stores like Whole Foods.  

OU Kosher: Was he thinking about expanding the reach when he decided to go kosher? Did he believe it might help get you into other markets? 

Heidelberg Bread: Yes, I believe that was part of the strategy. He thought it would help us expand into markets like New York City.  

OU Kosher: Are you in any stores in New Jersey? 

Heidelberg Bread: We are in some stores in New Jersey. 

OU Kosher: Do you know why he decided to go with OU Kosher? 

Heidelberg Bread: Why we chose OU Kosher: After much research was done, we determined OU Kosher to be the highest standard of care and concern for our loyal customers. The more research we did, the more we found OU Kosher to be unequivocally the gold standard for food safety and quality. Once we thoroughly understood the different options we had for kosher, the OU kosher designation was a no-brainer for Heidelberg.

Expanding the Product Line

OU Kosher: You mentioned that you’re trying to expand. Can you talk a little bit about product development and how that works? 

Heidelberg Bread: Yes. Product development is hard, and expanding is also challenging because of the lack of preservatives in our product. That’s why we’re really only in the Northeast. But recently, we did release two new products. That’s the most development we’ve had in a while. 

OU Kosher: Can you tell me about those new products? 

Heidelberg Bread: Sure, we just released seedless rye and 21-grain bread.  

OU Kosher: That’s great. Have you been able to get those into Whole Foods, or are you working on that? 

Heidelberg Bread: We’re working on that. I’m not sure if they’re ready to take new products from us yet. 

OU Kosher: How did you introduce those products? 

Heidelberg Bread: We hard-launched them when we did our new bags, which I believe was last February. They might be about a year old now, but they haven’t blown up as much as we hoped. Seedless rye is popular because a lot of people love rye bread but don’t like the seeds. 21-grain is also popular as a multigrain bread. 

OU Kosher: Is it similar to your peasant bread but multigrain? 

Heidelberg Bread: Yes, it’s similar. Our cracked wheat bread is the most similar to French peasant bread, but 21-grain has a mix of 21 different grains and seeds. 

OU Kosher: You started your factory in 2017. How were you manufacturing before that? Heidelberg Bread: We made bread out of our little café, where we served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the back, we had ovens and a shaping floor for making bread. We outgrew it and had to get a factory because we were making a lot of bread in that tiny café. 

OU Kosher: Have you reached capacity in the new place? 

 Heidelberg Bread: No, we haven’t. We’re only working at about 20% capacity right now. 

OU Kosher: Have you gotten any feedback on the new products from consumers? 

Heidelberg Bread: Yes, a lot of people really love them. Seedless rye was highly requested. We’ve also received a lot of praise for the 21-grain bread because it’s a sugar-free option. 

OU Kosher: Has that been released yet? 

Heidelberg Bread: Yes, it has. If it had been on the shelf, you would have seen it. 

OU Kosher: I was able to find it in a Whole Foods Upper East Side NY store. Regarding distribution, do you handle it yourselves or use a company? 

Heidelberg Bread: We have truck drivers who deliver to stores locally, and we also work with distributors who take our bread to their distribution centers and then distribute it for us. We’re primarily in the Northeast, including New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. 

OU Kosher: Can you talk a little bit about online sales? Is that a growing segment? 

Heidelberg Bread: Yes, it is growing. There are still some people who are probably a little skeptical about ordering bread online, but we only do priority shipping. The shipping costs are higher, but that’s to speed up delivery. We have all of our bread available online, although we don’t have the new 21-grain or seedless rye on there yet. We’re working on that. We ship every other bread, though. 

OU Kosher: What days do you ship? 

Heidelberg Bread: We ship on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Depending on how close the destination is, it takes one to two days for delivery. 

OU Kosher: Where do you ship to? 

Heidelberg Bread: Anywhere. You can get the bread overnight. 

OU Kosher: How long long can I let it sit out before it starts to get moldy? Should I put it in the fridge right away? 

Heidelberg Bread: Putting it in the fridge does extend its life, but if you don’t, it should still last for at least 12 days, depending on how warm it is in the house. 

OU Kosher: That’s great. I have a bit of an issue with bread—if I bring in a loaf, it’ll be gone in a day. Heidelberg Bread: That’s the way to eat Heidelberg bread! 

OU Kosher: What does your day-to-day look like? 

Heidelberg Bread: Every morning, I have a meeting with my dad, who is the vice president of operations, and our chief strategy officer, Sal. We discuss any problems, complaints, what we should do next, and the consistency of the bread. After that, I usually go off and do my own thing. Since I just started, I have a lot on my plate—tasks that people wanted done but had no time to do. I spend a lot of time telling people about Heidelberg Bread and making people aware of the brand. 

 OU Kosher: Who are these people you’re talking to? 

Looking to the Future

 Heidelberg Bread: Local companies we’re thinking about collaborating with, local stores we’re trying to get into and the media. 

 OU Kosher: Have you been able to get into any new locations recently? 

 Heidelberg Bread: Not recently, but we have a lot of Hannaford Grocery stores locally. Instead of being in the bread aisle, our bread is now in the bakery aisle, which was a big change for us. Our bread is more like bakery bread, not commercial, so that was huge. Everyone says it looks great. 

 OU Kosher: In terms of future plans, you’re looking to increase your reach through new locations? 

 Heidelberg Bread: Yes, that’s the goal. 

 OU Kosher: Do you display the OU certification on the packaging? 

 Heidelberg Bread: Yes, the OU logo is on the packaging, and we proudly display the certification on our website as well. 

 OU Kosher: Is this a family-owned business? 

 Heidelberg Bread: Yes, it is. My dad is the Chief Operating Officer. My older brother is the head mixer, Sal, the chief strategy officer, is my cousin, and my little brother is the packaging lead. He runs the slicing machines and ensures quality control. My grandfather, who started the business, is still very involved and works in the office. 

 OU Kosher: It sounds like you all get along. 

 Heidelberg Bread: We do, we really do. 

 OU Kosher: It’s great to hear about the progress and plans for Heidelberg Bread. Your dedication to quality and the local community is impressive. 

 Heidelberg Bread: Thank you. We’re excited about what’s ahead and appreciate the opportunity to share our story. 

 OU Kosher: We’re looking forward to seeing your continued growth. Thanks for speaking with us. 

 Heidelberg Bread: Thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk about Heidelberg Bread.