Southern California ‘bread man’ dies

by Eric Schroeder
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CARSON, CALIF. — John G. Markulis, owner of Puritan Bakery in Carson, died Feb. 2. He was 83 years old.

Puritan Bakery was founded in 1938 as a small retail bakery that baked bread and other sweet goods in Ocean Park, Calif. Mr. Markulis joined Puritan as a partner with Tom Grimes in 1965. Under the leadership of Mr. Markulis and Mr. Grimes, Puritan focused on serving Southern California’s drive-through burger business.

“John was a lifelong bread man, with an obsession for quality product, and first class customer service,” according to the Puritan Bakery web site.

Today, the company has more than 300 types of bread and bun products that it supplies to more than 2,000 restaurants in California, including In-N-Out, Fatburger and Original Tommy’s.

According to the company’s web site, Puritan Bakery is committed to baking buns and bread “the old fashioned way.” The company uses a sponge and dough process rather than the faster and less expensive brew dough, straight dough or modified sponge systems. The sponge and dough process takes 7 hours, but “we believe that the best things are still worth waiting for,” Puritan said.

Mr. Markulis is survived by his wife, Anita, two sons, two daughters, three brothers and 14 grandchildren.
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