The history of The Bama Pie Company started in the kitchen of Cornelia Alabama in the twenties. Her home-baked tarts, sold in a small shop in Dallas where she worked, were so good that they soon become famous and people started queuing outside the shop. When the Great Depression started, her husband, Henry, lost his job. The Marshalls knew that the sale of Alabama’s pastry in a shop around the corner was not enough to support seven children. It was Henry’s idea to start baking smaller tarts and to sell them door-to-door. For this purpose he put all their savings together and that is how in 1927 The Bama Pie Company was born.
In 1931, 16-year-old Paul joined the company and started working for his parents as a pastry deliverer. Paul soon learned the secrets of the family business and discovered new possibilities for development. In 1935, he and his wife, Lilah, moved to Tulsa in Oklahoma, where they opened their own local branch of The Bama Pie Company. Running the business together they were hugely successful and they turned The Bama Pie, a local producer, into a company with a strong position on the American market, among other things; as the exclusive supplier of apple pies, the “Hot Apple Pie” for the McDonald’s chain.
Since 1984, Paula Marshall, the third generation of the company’s managers became the Chief Executive Officer of the company and since then has been consequently implementing her vision of further dynamic development.
In 1990 Bama took the historical decision to extend its operations to international markets. As a consequence, its first factory in China was opened, which at present, together with two other plants in this country, constitutes an integral part of The Bama Companies Inc. Apart from taking care of its 50-year-plus relationship with McDonalds, Bama Beijing also supports and provides for other Chinese clients. The quality and the company’s core values still apply, even though part of the business is located on another continent – the concept of mutual support among people works irrespective of location.
The next milestone was the decision to develop the business in Europe, in Poland. Stanowice, a town situated about 20 km from Wrocław, was chosen as a plant location. Construction work started in August 2012 and finished in July 2013.
Paula Marshall perseveres in her efforts to turn Bama, which started as a small firm baking nut tarts, into a world class organisation. As a result of her efforts, in 2004 the company was honoured with the prestigious American Quality Award of Malcolm Balridge. It also got many distinctions as “Best supplier” and “Most innovative company”.
Bama’s uninterrupted journey has a clear goal: achieve mastery in all its activities. It is more than an ordinary slogan, it is a statement which impacts on all Bama’s strategic results, improvement activities and everyday decisions. Nowadays, Bama is able to produce more pastry in one day that Alabama Marshall could have baked during her whole life…