The True Story Behind Pepperidge Farm's Logo

Have you ever torn into a bag of Pepperidge Farm cookies? This classic brand, established in the late 1930s, has been baking up a variety of much-loved bread, snacks, and desserts for decades, according to its company website. Other than its instantly recognizable Goldfish crackers, Pepperidge Farm is perhaps best known for its delicate cookies, including chocolate-dipped Milanos, shortbread Chessmen, and jam-filled Veronas.

While now a supermarket behemoth, Pepperidge Farm has quaint roots. The company was started by Margaret Rudkin, who lived on an old farm in Fairfield, Connecticut, graced by a Pepperidge, or black tupelo, tree. And if you've ever glanced at the brand's logo, which includes an image of a bright red mill sitting on top of white snow, you may have assumed that the building belonged to the Pepperidge Farm property. But there's more to the story of this logo. Read on to find out where the logo came from.

The mill is located in a whole other state

Most people who grew up in the United States have probably inhaled a bag or six of Pepperidge Farm cookies in their day. And while doing so, you may have noticed the brand's pastoral logo, which includes a drawing of a bright red mill spouting smoke from its chimney. Although the drawing is based on an actual mill, it isn't located in Connecticut, where Pepperidge Farm was established. According to Mental Floss, the water-powered mill — which is still operational — was built in the late 1920s in Sudbury, Massachusetts. The mill is located on the extensive grounds of the Wayside Inn, the oldest operating inn in the U.S., which got its start in the early 1700s (via The Wayside Inn). In 1923, the automobile tycoon Henry Ford purchased the inn and its grounds and commissioned the building of a new grain mill located at the site of the inn's original grist mill. Completed in 1929, the mill ground its first cornmeal on Thanksgiving Day of that year and continues to process the grains used in the inn's restaurant.

In 1952, Pepperidge Farm leased the mill to produce some of the flour used in its baked goods. The agreement lasted until 1967, with the Massachusetts mill providing Pepperidge Farm with more than 9,000 tons of flour — and inspiring the company's logo.