Family Tradition of the Original Fruit Roll
Back in 1884, George Shalhoub came to America to start a better life for his family. He worked a few jobs before deciding to do what he loved best, which was baking. He opened up George's Bakery at 65 Washington St. in Manhattan where he made assorted pastries as well as halvah and other candy specialties. Around 1920 he changed the name of his bakery to George Shalhoub & Son. His son Joseph joined the business and continued the tradition of high quality pastries and candy.
In 1945 the name of the bakery changed once again. It was at this time that young Louis Shalhoub joined his father and the name of the business was now Joseph Shalhoub & Son. Louis was just 14 years old when he started working but even at that young age he had a vision of the future. He wanted to see the business grow beyond the little bakery on the corner. As their business grew, so did the area where the business was located, downtown New York City. In 1947 the business was forced to move to make room for the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. They moved to 140 Liberty St. and set up their bakery.
In 1950, Louis was called to serve in the United States Army and spent the next two years participating in the Korean War. Upon his return he resumed his work in the bakery. In 1953 the cost of doing business in lower Manhattan skyrocketed. They were forced to relocate the business into Brooklyn where they set up shop on Atlantic Ave.
After a few years Louis added a new item to their product list. He began making a pressed apricot sheet that was dried and sold by the foot. In 1960 after the passing of Joseph, Louis decided to close the bakery and concentrate on producing his apricot sheets. He called this new product "Shoe Leather" because it was as tough as it was tasty. He had the idea that he could make individual pieces and sell them by the pound as well as individually wrapped. He then built a pressing machine and a rolling machine which enabled him to roll them up before being packaged. Little did he know how popular his "Shoe Leather" would become. He packaged his "Shoe Leather" under the brand name Joray, named after his sons Joseph and Raymond.
In the late 1970's Joseph and Raymond joined the business and along with their father they developed the company into what it is today. Joray Fruit Rolls are now available in 10 flavors and can be found across the nation as well as in many countries including Israel, England, Switzerland and Mexico.
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