Photograph of an English muffin with a large pat of butter on a plate with black and white text on an orange background.
Samuel Bath Thomas, an Englishman who emigrated to New York City in 1874, opened his bakery in 1880. The famous muffin that bears his name was a fancy alternative to toast that quickly became popular in the US. Trademarked in 1926, the brand Thomas' English Muffin was reported to be first used in 1894; this puts Thomas' invention of the muffin at about this time. The muffins' unique "nooks and crannies" are advertised to be less dense than competitive brands and are a prized corporate asset of current owner Bimbo Bakeries.
The secret recipe is held by only seven employees at the company. So what happens when one of the lucky seven decides to jump ship and take a job at rival Hostess...lots of lawyers appear to battle over "nooks and crannies"!
But maybe some clues can be found elsewhere. How about the 15' x 20' oven found hiding in one of Thomas' original NYC bakeries. The massive brick oven was uncovered by the current owners during a 2006 DIY renovation.
Neuman, W. (2010, August 07). A Man With Muffin Secrets, but No Job With Them. Retrieved July 27, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/07/business/07muffin.html?pagewanted=all
Vasquez, E. (2006, July 28). Do You Know the Muffin Man Was on West 20th Street? Retrieved July 27, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/28/nyregion/28muffins.html