Featured Customer

We’ve had the honor and pleasure of working with some pretty great folks over the years, many of whom we’re still proud to call partners after 30 years.

this week we feature…

A recent customer to the Companion roster, Hi-Pointe Drive-In was looking for a baker that could make a custom hamburger bun that met their premium specifications. After several months of R&D, Companion developed a brioche bun which is now being used in all locations. We’re happy to be part of the Hi-team! 

Since the beginning of Fresh Thyme, we’ve had the privilege of being one of the all natural, organic grocery chain’s primary bakers – providing fresh, wholesome artisan breads, buns, rolls and sandwich breads. We’ve played an integral role guiding the stores’ bakery teams and bringing sustainable products and programs to the communities they serve.

When looking for a local grocer that is unique in products, service, and quality, St. Louisans turn to Straub’s Markets. Straub’s is synonymous with specialty gourmet foods. As one of St. Louis’ oldest retailers, they’ve been sourcing local premium artisan products for over 120 years. Straub’s asked Companion to provide a full line of small batch breads for their customers and we’re proud to say that, after 10 years, we’re still delivering unique items like our signature Bread Pudding.

Did you know Steve’s Hot Dogs is the “Official Hot Dog of St. Louis?” Seriously – there’s an official proclamation from the Mayor to prove it! Owner, Steve Ewing, was looking for a local baker to help bring his vision to the basket. Together, we crafted a high-quality bun that would compliment his smoked all-beef dogs and could support the plethora of fresh, regionally sourced toppings piled on top.

July 19th is National Hot Dog Day, and there’s no better way to celebrate than to stop by and enjoy one of Steve’s legendary hot dogs!

Herbie’s, a longtime favorite dining destination in St. Louis, was looking for unique, high quality product for their sandwich and table bread programs. Our solutions – the whimsically shaped epi loaf, which has become a signature bread for Herbie’s baskets – and our brioche and infamous Badda Bing buns, which complete every sandwich on their menu.

Promotional poster showing a Companion pretzel being dipped in beer cheese dip next to a Schlafly beer bottle and glass

A longtime wholesale customer, Schlafly Beer was looking for a baker that could help them scale their operations and menu offerings. Over the years, Companion has provided artisan breads for sandwiches and the signature Bavarian Pretzel Stick which still remains a local favorite.

A Companion Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake is served with pieces of chocolate from Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate

In 2011, we approached Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate owner, Dan Abel, with a collaboration concept. The result was Breaded Bliss – a delightful bark using our crispy toasted brioche and their delicious small batch chocolates, with a hint of salt. Our joint efforts have continued over the years and, when Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate purchased Bissinger’s, expanded into our luscious Gooey Butter Cake, a Valentine’s Day favorite!

Stay tuned for more unique goodies from this mouthwatering mashup. And if you haven’t heard, Head Bread Guy, Josh Allen, has a podcast called Baked In. Listen to his discussion with Dan Abel here.

Companion salespeople, Tina Vass and Jonathan Potts, pose behind a table of Companion bread products at the UNFI food show
In 2012 we approached UNFI, a well-known distributer of natural and organic food products, with the intention of becoming a trusted supplier of artisan breads to their portfolio of retail customers throughout the Midwest. The next year we began shipments of a full line of hearth breads, rolls and buns. When UNFI purchased SuperValu in 2018, our breads gained greater reach through their expanded network of retailers, putting our product on tables of customers across the country.
Wally’s bbq sandwich on a Companion bun, served with chips and a fountain soda

Wally’s, a family-friendly travel center with two locations along historic Route 66 in Illinois and Missouri, was struggling with their bread service. Given their focus on providing elevated fresh food items, they needed a partner that could provide consistent quality and reliable delivery. Enter Companion. Our artisan rolls and buns are featured across Wally’s extensive menu, with more items being added soon. As their brand expands (10 more locations are in the works), we’re excited to grow with them.

A Peacemaker poorboy, served on Companion bun

When James Beard Award winning chef, Kevin Nashan, was planning his new restaurant concept, he approached good friend and Companion founder, Josh Allen, to help develop customized bread items for the menu. Peacemaker Lobster & Crab, which opened in 2014 to great acclaim, features our soft, hearty poorboy buns, and our buttery brioche for their rolls. The brand’s expansion into the Tulsa market in 2018 introduced our breads to the fine folks of Oklahoma.

To learn more about Chef Kevin Nashan, check out his feature episode on the Baked-In podcast, hosted by Josh Allen.

Local Harvest Grocery, which opened in June 2007, is a perfect partner for Companion. The organic, sustainable market, located in the Tower Grove South neighborhood of St. Louis, shares our philosophy of sourcing from local vendors as much as possible. In fact, over half of their products come from within 150 of the store. That’s why they trusted in us to provide a full line of hearths breads, delivered fresh daily. Since then, they’ve added our sandwich breads, pastries and cookies to their shelves. Pretty sweet!

A loaf of Companion Pumpkin Cranberry bread is sliced and laid out on a cutting board

For over 20 years, Companion has been one of the approved local vendors for Marriott Hotels. In St. Louis, that means providing bread for one of their top luxury brands – The Ritz-Carlton. During that time they have relied on us for consistent quality and service, something they know a few things about. Today, we deliver our olive batard and pumpkin cranberry loaves for the enjoyment of their discerning customers.

A cheeseburger is served on a Companion bun at BRGR restaurant

Known for their portfolio of eclectic, award winning brands, the W. VinZant group consistently delivers on their vision for quality-focused people, product, and elevated design. The Kansas CIty-based company was looking for a partner in Missouri to provide bread service that matches the level of excellence they’re known for. We’re proud to deliver our potato bun, rustic french loaf, and 7″ Italian sub bun for use in kitchens such as BRGR, Gram & Dun and Louie’s Wine Dive.

Companion Pretzel Sticks are served in a basket

Founded by beer veterans, Florian Kuplent and David Wolfe, Urban Chestnut pulled its first taps in January 2011. They knew they needed the perfect pretzel to accompany their high quality lagers and ales, and our classic Bavarian stick was up to the task. Today we continue to provide customers in their Grove and Washington Avenue locations with our famous pretzels & burger buns.