Tradition of the Original Fruit Roll
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.