Pita baker gains 1,200 new grocery outlets with Kroger partnership

LAWRENCE, MASS. — As it commemorates its 50th anniversary in business, Joseph’s Bakery, manufacturer of pita and lavash flatbreads, is expanding distribution through a new partnership with The Kroger Co. that includes more than 1,200 locations. The company also said it is gaining distribution of additional products in 3,000 Walmart stores and multiple Albertsons Safeway divisions.

Joseph’s initial product offering of Original Pita, a traditional white pita bread, was first delivered fresh in 1972 to Demoulas Market Basket stores in New England, according to the company. The reach of that product has expanded in recent years to include all Ahold Delhaize USA banners, eight Albertson Safeway divisions, Meijer, Publix, Southeastern Grocers, and WinCo stores. The company’s top-selling flax, oat bran and whole wheat line of pita, wraps and lavash are already available for purchase throughout the United States.

“For the past 50 years, Joseph’s has been relying on centuries-old family recipes to craft the freshest and healthiest products for our customers, and the demand only continues to grow,” said Joseph Boghos, chief baker. “To see our traditional pita bread, the first product my grandfather Joseph made from my grandmother’s recipe, continuing to build momentum globally is a testament to our quality and timeless recipes. We could not have achieved this success without our family, dedicated employees, and loyal customer base.”

To celebrate the company’s milestone, Joseph’s said it is committing to donating 50,000 packages of flatbread, pita and wraps over the next year to Lazarus House Ministries in Lawrence, which provides food, shelter, clothing and advocacy services to families and individuals throughout the Merrimack Valley. The donations will support the organization’s food pantry program, which helps provide up to 1,500 families with food each week. Joseph’s has donated more than 100,000 packages of food to the organization since August 2020.

“The industry has changed dramatically over the years, but Joseph’s commitment to providing high-quality, healthy products to customers and supporting our community has always remained the same,” said Stephen Boghos, vice president of business development. “We are thrilled to now be offering Joseph’s in thousands of new locations, making our products even more accessible nationwide.”

The bakery is currently owned and operated by brothers Joseph and Stephen Boghos, who represent the family’s third generation in the United States.

“Joseph’s Bakery is a story of fulfilling the American dream by immigrants with a family first mentality,” the company said. “A bootstrap story with a lot of sweat equity decades ago is the only reason that the third generation is here today.”

According to the company website, founder Joseph Boghos, who was fluent in five languages, originally worked in Damascus, Syria, as a driver and translator for a US general. In 1952, the general issued six visas and put the Boghos family on a boat to the United States, where they settled in the greater Boston area. While working 18-hour days at three jobs to support his family, Mr. Boghos began handing out pita bread, freshly baked by his wife, Mary, to his neighbors as a way to connect with the American culture and people.

In 1972, the family created a business and began manufacturing its pita bread at a small bakery in Lowell, Mass. The company moved to its current headquarters in Lawrence in 2001.

Joseph’s currently has more than 300 employees and its products can be found in all 50 states in more than 15,000 stores, as well as in e-commerce, through its website and Amazon.

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