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Bunny Bread Sign, a Marquette Icon

Bunny Bread in Marquette, MIEarlier today I was talking with my friend Kevin in Marietta, GA. I met Kevin for lunch there over a year ago (where I had a very tasty calzone at the Marietta Pizza Company just NW of Atlanta).

Kevin, having spent time in Marquette years ago and being a generation older than me, has done a great job of informing me of what Marquette used to be. He’s mentioned a few things that have gone missing over the years and what he educated me about this afternoon was Bunny Bread.

Kevin told me about a sign that was once famous in Marquette… a sign for Bunny Bread. And apparently the sign was taken down several years ago (it outdates my young memory, I’m only 25). Kevin inspired me to do a little research and find out where the sign went to.

After a little research I have an answer for my friend Kevin, and hopefully for some of you out there who may have been wondering whatever happened to the sign. (The sign is even mentioned in Marquette’s Wikipedia entry, so you know it has to be an icon then.)

Though I haven’t been able to find an old photo (yet) of the Bunny Bread sign in Marquette, here is a duplicate one that is in Anna, IL.

Bunny Bread - Anna Illinois
*This sign matches what used to be right here in Marquette.

There was another Bunny Bread plant with a sign in Marquette, MI. The sign came down in 1990 and went into storage. In 1996, it was installed at the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum in Marquette. The entrance lobby, partly designed by children, was built high enough to include the bunny’s ears. The sign’s neon tubing was replaced with blue rope light.”

–Super Signage

Yes! The sign still exists today, and absolutely everyone is welcome to come and see it at the Upper Peninsula Childrens Museum.

Upper Peninsula Children's Museum
Though it’s a small photo you can see the bunny just inside the entrance, facing out of the large window.

In addition there has been some great dialogue on Pasty.com about the old Bunny Bread sign. To sum it up best Ed C. wrote the following…

“The Bunny Bread sign was the signal to our three kids that we had “arrived” in the U. P. after a long trip from Detroit to the Copper Country.”

Ed C.

It’s signs like these that often make towns unique (I should know as apparently I’ve become some sort of hometown expert). What is ironic is that day I met Kevin he made sure I got a photo of another famous sign right there in Marietta. Marquette used to have it’s Bunny Bread sign, Marietta has it’s 30-foot tall Kentucky Fried Chicken sign.

*If anyone has an old photo or has seen one of the old Marquette Bunny Bread sign please let me know.


29 Wonderful Comments

  1. Barb Hanshaw
    Nov 13, 2008

    “We have a bunny bread pen. Also, I used to ride in the back of Bunny Bread Truck when it left Marquette at 4 in the AM to head for L’Anse on the weekend. Free Ride….and no, I never snuck any rolls. I was student at NMU and we were desperate for rides back then. I would either walk from NMU or hitch a ride downtown to Bunny Bread factory, to ride on the truck home. Crazy…crazy. The aroma was unbelievable!! I can still smell the raspberry rolls, strawberry rolls and fresh baked “Stuff”. What memories! Barb Johnson Hanshaw NMU “1963″

  2. mike foucault
    Nov 14, 2008

    when i was 7-12 yrs old we lived downstate for a while till we moved back to L’anse in ’76. I always remember seeing the bunny bread sign and knew we were almost to L;anse coming from Westland. I remember those trips well and i loved seeing that sign and often wondered what ever became of it. Great memories and that sign was a part of it. Can’t believe i wasn’t the only one!!

  3. We had a Bunny Bread in the Sault, too! Some of my earliest and best memories are of trips with my mom to Bunny Bread, just the two of us… I, too, can still smell it :-)

  4. My GRANDPA was the artist that came up with the logo for Bunny Bread! That’s right! My parents are from Anna, IL, and I have great memories visiting and still do from time to time. My grandpa has passed on, but his name was Maurice Metzger and he was a FABULOUS artist!

  5. Sure proof that it was amazing sign is that it was immortalized in song by Frank Zappa during a performance at NMU in the spring of ’74.

    Keep your stick on the ice!

  6. I was named after bunny bread from what I’m told they used to advertise w/a bunny in the u and the logo was “If you find anything fresher it’s still in the oven” I have been looking for the small signs for many years have only seen one and they weren’t parting w/it So if anyone knows of one please post it.

  7. Lana –

    This may be a long shot, but if your grandparents’ name was Metzger, then I highly suspect that my grandfather, Arthur Karsteter and Joe Metzger (gotta be a relative of yours) were buddies back in the day… I’m talking 1930′s to 1970′s. My grandfather lived just up the hill from the Bunny Bread plant in Anna, on east street. My grandpa and Joe were amateur archeologists and my parents have many pics of them digging up cave floors in the area finding native american artifacts which they donated to a museum in cobden. Does any of that sound familiar?

  8. Keith,

    Joe Metzger is probably a relative of my mom’s if he lived in Anna. I will ask her. I know where East Street is, not far from the IGA, correct? ha Go Appleknockers! I’ll see what my mom has to say. My Grandpa was the town artist!

  9. Lana –

    Well… this is certainly getting more interesting. I was confusing the Metzger surname with the Thomas surname. Joe Thomas was the original curator and creator of the Cobden museum. However… and this is a *big* however, your grandpa and mine were like best friends. Maurice Dean Metzger, right? Metzger certainly rung a bell with me, and I got it *just about* right. HA! I just talked to my mother, and she has a lot of information about Mr. Maurice Dean Metzger, I can’t wait to hear it all. How very funny and strange, and what a small world it is sometimes. Um, I haven’t been to Anna in about 20 or so years, but yeah, I think IPA is near where my grandpa lived. Joe, Arthur, and Maurice certainly all knew each other at any rate, and probably camped and hung out together for many years. I’ll ping you back on this board when I hear something, but I’d like to exchange emails with you if this turns out to be all correct. I’m as proud of my grandpa as you are; Arthur was a published author, and had the same artistic blood in his veins as your grandpa did, I’m sure.

    Keith.

  10. Carolyn Lemaster
    Feb 28, 2009

    Keith,
    How cool is this?! I’m Lana’s mom, (Maurice’s daughter.) Was your Mom Carolyn? She and I grew up together and we were jumping on a bed together when I fell off onto a pile of paintings stacked next to the bed. The glass shattered and sent me to the hospital with a horrible cut on my elbow-and I blamed her-ha! Yes, Joe and Dad were partners in the sign business (MRT Signs) and Artie worked on Main Street in a hardware store. I went on some of those digs with them as a kid. Talk about good-old days! Can’t wait to hear some more.
    Carolyn Metzger Lemaster

  11. Hi Carolyn and Lana!

    Funny, interesting, cool, and WOW! Yep, my mom is Carolyn too! Carolyn Karsteter Pulcher… I’m Keith Pulcher. Just talked to her with all this info, and the pieces all fell together. Her email address is JLPULCHER@AOL.COM. Carolyn: sounds like the Carolyns might have some catching up to do ;^>!

    I came across this site by chance after Google recently drove through Anna and added their street view photos, and reminded me of the Bunny Bread sign. Mom was born in Anna and raised on Main street through her childhood, and I understand that Maurice lived with Artie and Irene (my grandparents) for a while (maybe before you were born?) and you kids were all friends… Carolyn(s), and Peggy. What a great story about the jumping on the bed fiasco! Mom laughed!

    Lana, thanks for responding, and that’s great that the Carolyns will catch up again!

    Hey! Gimme an email address so mom can reach you!

    Here’s her’s again… JLPULCHER@AOL.COM

    What an incredibly small world, Keith.

  12. Keith,
    I talked to my mom about this. She seemed to remember Arthur and the artifacts, etc. She said she would post to you here.

  13. WOW . . all this “connecting” over my sons’s science fair project: Bread Mold: White vs Wheat! hee hee

  14. Hi Carolyn and Lana,

    My mom has Carolyn’s email address now… just talked to her. She’s going to email you to keep this going. I’ve enjoyed talking to both of you very much.

    Keith.

  15. Kathy Hall
    Apr 12, 2009

    I have one of the Bunny Bread signs. It is metal and it’s the Bunny head. It’s about 3 feet tall (not sure). We have had it for years. My husband got it because my nickname is Bunny.

  16. My grandfather Charles Devonshire made the Bunny sign in Marquette he was a sheet metal worker….

  17. Nora Logan (Trevillion)
    May 28, 2009

    remember the smell from the bunny bread plant and my step father was a truck driver for Bunny bread

  18. my uncle was the one who drew the bunny bread bunny. his name was maurice metzger. he married my grandmas sister.. my aunt charlote.

  19. Allyson
    OHMYGOSH! Maurice was your Uncle? He was my grandpa! Charlotte was my grandma . . obviously after Grandpa remarried . . Charlotte. He was first married to my grandma Wanda, who has also passed away. My mom and dad are both from Anna. I have to call my mom now, ha.

  20. DARREN KORBY
    Jan 9, 2010

    MY DAD WAS A WORKER/SEMI DRIVER FOR BUNNY BREAD .HE HAD WORKED THERE HIS WHOLE ADULT LIFE AND RETIRED FROM THERE,.I WILL NEVER FORGET THE BAKERY TOURS I TOOK WHEN I WAS A KID GIVEN BY HIM THROUGH THE BACK DOOR….THE SMELL WAS UNFORGETTABLE…

  21. Charmaine LaLande
    Jan 11, 2010

    There is a small Bunny Bread sign on our Cracker Barrel restaurant outside wall. I’ve offered to buy it but they won’t part with it. Remember it well from my days at NMU.

  22. “That’s What I Said…..”

  23. I used to love the blue bunny sign in Marquette. Didn’t its ears used to light up. Yes the smells were unforgettable, even as I write this, I can smell the bread. I think there used to be a thrift shop there, because I remember stopping there to get our bread.

  24. Valerie Hill
    Aug 3, 2010

    I live in Anna, Illinois where the sign is located you have on your website. This sign was left on the building when new owners bought it. I believe it was one of the conditions when it was purchased from the Lewis family.
    Unfortunately our plant closed years ago and moved it’s location to somewhere in Indiana.
    The Lewis family are from Anna where Bunny Bread originally started.
    I remember in the late 1970′s being able to stop at the business and buy fresh hot bread (uncut) in a paper sack. Boy was it delicious!

  25. Bunny Bread was started by the Brown Family in Defiance ohio. the first and original factory is still in running but bunny bread has since been bought out by wounder bread
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/timtonjes/4017786922/

    copy and paste this site and you will see the factory. my sister use to take care of mrs Brown when she was in her 90s and in the basement of their ohuse was a Blasa room and in the middle was a glass case that had the original bunny mascott in it. she said it was aroung 18 to 20 inches tall.

  26. Bunny Bread was NOT started by the Brown family. It was started by Jack Lewis in 1925, in Anna, Illinois. Lewis Bakeries franchises the brand. The Wonder Bread brand is franchised by Interstate Bakeries. Some bakers franchise both brands, but they aren’t the same company.

    Reinhard and Emillie Brown founded Brown’s Bakery in 1873; Margaret Henkle, the last of the third generation, died last summer at the age of 95. Their factory is too new to have been the original one; it appears to have been built between WWI and WWII.

    I used to have a painted enamel sign of a circus elephant, cut in the shape of the elephant, that promoted Jumbo bread. It was maybe 16″ tall. I think Brown’s may have owned the Jumbo brand, but I’m not sure. I think the brand disappeared in the 1940s.

  27. Kathleen L Pettijohn
    Sep 2, 2013

    I am a Lewis..my grandfather started Lewis Brothers Bakeries and Bunny Bread. We still own it. My dad is CEO. On of my fondest memories are the Bunny Bread neon sign in Anna Il which is the first Bakery to have this sign. Since my grandfather passed away I am looking for Bunny stuff. I am amazed of the interest.

  28. My great-grandfather, Clyde Buckner, won the design for coloring the bunny bread logo. He chose the dark blue and gold to color the rabbit. His design won and he was sent a bunny bread watch with the new colored logo on it. The contest was held for all 2nd graders and so they chose his! We have the original drawing that he did and the watch!

  29. To Kathleen Pettijohn, my former neighbor owned the Bunny Bread bakeries in Marquette and the Soo, years ago, Sherwin Overholt.

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