|Above, rows of Helms trucks at the Culver City headquarters.|
People living in Los Angeles from the 1930s to the 1960s would be greeted each morning by a distinctive whistle toot from the street.
It signaled that the Helms Bakeries truck was in the neighborhood.
Based out of Culver City, California, Helms Bakeries would deliver baked goods and candies to Los Angeles residents. Kids who lived in L.A. at the time, would run out to the Helms truck to buy donuts and candy. I remember doing so hundreds of times.
|Above, this was a familiar scene back in the day.|
The Helms Bakery, owned by then newly-retired New York banker Paul Helms, opened its doors in 1931. Helms Bakery operated on a large scale, churning out 150 different types of items—none of which were sold in stores. Helms’ products were delivered directly to customers’ homes.
Helms Bakery Drivers honked a distinctive horn and residents could come out to the coaches where they’d find fresh-baked loaves, doughnuts, rolls and cookies available for purchase. Some Helmsmen, as the drivers were known, even carried milk and butter. During the company’s heyday, Helms coaches extended their delivery zones all the way north to Fresno and south to San Diego.
My elementary school class took a field trip to the Helms bakery and each of us were given a miniature loaf of bread. It was a great time to be a kid in L.A.!
Of course, we must not forget the folding cardboard Helms trucks the drivers handed out.
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