You'll Never Guess How Little Debbie Got Its Start

Little Debbie snacks have been a lunch bag staple for many years. Whether you can't get enough Cosmic Brownies, Devil Cremes, Strawberry Shortcake Rolls, Nutty Buddy bars, Swiss Cake Rolls, Zebra Cakes, Oatmeal Creme Pies, Apple Pies, or Honey Buns, there's a nostalgia-inducing treat that satisfies just about any sugar craving. The Little Debbie brand, as a whole, is commonly associated with childhood innocence and simple indulgences. For example, the brand's logo depicts a smiling young girl with bright blue eyes and a bonnet, a character that we've likely all befriended at some point in our lives.

And in case you were wondering, yes, Little Debbie is indeed a real person. In fact, Debbie McKee-Fowler still works for the Tennessee-based, family-owned and operated company as its executive vice president. The business experienced what anyone would call humble beginnings that evolved into a flourishing brand enjoyed by consumers across generations all over America. The story that brought the household product line to life is as fascinating as its iconic snack cakes are sweet.

Little Debbie is a fourth-generation business founded by the namesake's grandparents

We've all heard the tales about some of the most legendary companies of all time starting in garages, but it's pretty rare to hear about successful companies that start out of car trunks. Well, that's the origin story of how Little Debbie came to be when a man named O.D. McKee sold snack cakes from his Whippet sedan to make ends meet during the Great Depression. O.D. and his wife, Ruth, ended up purchasing a bakery in 1934 in hopes that they would be able to provide for their family during hard times. McKee Foods Corporation was built on the philosophy that a mix of passion, hard work, and perseverance are likely to help your dreams come true, even in the face of adversity.

A few decades later, in 1960, the entrepreneurial couple developed a unique line of baked goods and named them after their granddaughter Debbie, according to the brand's official website. Today, Little Debbie is the most-sold snack cake brand in America, and McKee Foods' annual sales are a whopping $1.5 billion. It's safe to say that folks can't get enough of Little Debbie's best snack cakes. Now, that's pretty sweet!