Burton McGlynn, chairman of DecoPac, dies at 88
by Eric Schroeder
CAPTIVA, FLA. — Burton (Burt) J. McGlynn, chairman of DecoPac, Inc. and former chairman of McGlynn Bakeries, died Dec. 23 at his home in Captiva. He was 88 years old.
McGlynn Bakeries was founded in Minnesota in 1919 by Burt’s father, James T. McGlynn. Burt’s career began in the family business, working in his father’s bakery at age 15 as a cleaner. He later filled in for bakers when they were on vacations, drove delivery trucks on wholesale routes and waited on customers at the service counter. During World War II, Mr. McGlynn attended a school for cooks and bakers in New Orleans and served as a baker in the Navy, stationed in the Philippines.
After the war, Mr. McGlynn returned to Minnesota to help run his father’s growing bakery business, which, at the time, had 11 downtown shops and several wholesale routes. He purchased the company from his father in 1956, and two years later he sold the business to Emrich Baking Co., where he stayed on as head of retail operations. After a few years with Emrich Baking, Mr. McGlynn saw an opportunity to open in-store bakeries in the new Target stores being developed by Dayton’s Department Stores in the Twin Cities. He resigned from Emrich, acquired his family’s trade name and was in business again with his first two bakeries in the Knollwood and Crystal Target stores. By 1972, there were over 35 Target Stores with in-store McGlynn’s Bakery departments.
The business changed and expanded greatly over the next few decades, entering the frozen bakery products business. That business eventually was sold in 1992 to Pillsbury. Another frozen bakery products business, Concept 2 Bakers, was begun in 1995 and sold in 2004 to Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. Bakery plants were constructed in Eden Prairie, Chanhassen and Fridley, Minn., and at one time the company employed more than 2,000 people.
The remaining family business, DecoPac, Inc. is the largest marketer of cake decorations to professional cake decorators in the world. DecoPac, Inc. employs more than 500 people in the United States and England with annual revenues of more than $125 million.
Mr. McGlynn attended Dunwoody Institute and received an honorary doctorate of philanthropy degree from St. Mary’s University.
He is survived by four sons, one of whom works in the family business, a daughter, 16 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.