25 May The Wonderbread Factory—now the Skverer Yeshiva
This is a really interesting example of how many phases Williamsburg has been through it its rich history. Once upon a time, the Skverer Yeshiva in Williamsburg on Heyward Street was home to America’s Wonder Bread factory. They used to make Twinkies, too, as both Wonder and Hostess were owned by a baking conglomerate called Continental Baking.
According to Shulem Deen, a former Skver Hasid, when he was in this Yeshiva there was still the enormous conveyor oven from the Wonder Bread factory. Says Deen “When I was teenager here (1988-1990), a couple of us found a hidden door in the basement area, which led into an *enormous* space, dark and empty except for a long, dusty, rusted conveyor oven. It was like something I’d never seen before, and it amazed us to stumble upon this relic of an iconic American breadmaking factory, right underneath our ‘bes medrish’.”
It would be great to get a picture of the oven if it is still there, a relic of the past, transitioned into such a different environment!