History of Fleischmann's® Yeast

History of Fleischmann's

The story of Fleischmann’s Yeast, which is also the story of modern American baking, begins in the 1860’s.

Leaving their home in Austria-Hungary, Charles and Maximilian Fleischmann came to America in search of a better kind of life. The brothers quickly discovered the perfect way to achieve it...creating a better kind of bread.

The Rise of Better Tasting Bread (1868)

Bread in America, made with unreliable home-brewed starters and leaveners, was no match for the light, tender breads Charles and Max had enjoyed back in their homeland.

The Fleischmann brothers knew there was a better way. But first they had to raise money before they could start making a better-rising loaf of bread. So they formed a partnership with a successful American businessman, James Gaff.

The Fleischmann brothers built a yeast plant in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the financial backing of Gaff. Here they produced and patented a compressed yeast cake that revolutionized home and commercial baking in the United States.

The new yeast had excellent leavening power, delivered consistent quality and made a great tasting bread. The Fleischmanns had created America’s first commercially produced yeast, the very same one that was to become the country’s best-selling yeast – from that moment until today.

A Household Name

In 1876, Charles and Max Fleischmann used the occasion of Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition to introduce their new yeast to a much wider audience – the 10 million visitors to the exposition.

Few could resist the incomparable aroma of the fresh-baked bread wafting from the popular Fleischmann’s concession, which was named ‘The Vienna Bakery.’ People were drawn to taste fresh Viennese bread baked on the premises and served with coffee, ices and chocolate.

By the end of the exposition, America had discovered compressed yeast cake and Fleischmann’s® yeast had become a household word.

Two More Fleischmann's® Yeast Innovations

Charles and Max were committed to discovering ways to manufacture better yeast and help bakeries improve their yeast-raised products. To help them achieve their goals, they added a state-of-the-art research laboratory to their Peekskill, New York, plant in 1900.

Later, when America entered World War II, Fleischmann Laboratories developed and manufactured Active Dry Yeast®, specifically to ensure GIs could enjoy home-baked bread. Unlike their original compressed yeast cake, the new Fleischmann’s® Yeast did not require refrigeration and was activated quickly with warm water. For the second time in its history, Fleischmann’s had revolutionized yeast baking.

And in 1984, Fleischmann’s did it again...with RapidRise® Yeast. This highly active, finer grain of dry yeast raises dough as much as 50% faster than regular active dry yeast. No wonder RapidRise® is the yeast of choice for busy bakers today.

In 1993, Fleischmann’s introduced its bread machine yeast. It is specially formulated to produce excellent-tasting loaves in any kind of bread machine.

Become a Better Baker

Take your passion for baking to the next level with these helpful tips, techniques and mouth-watering recipes.


Home Baking Association

Promoting the mission of “growing the practice of home baking,” the Home Baking Association (HBA) is a valuable resource for people who share a belief in spending quality time in their own kitchen.