Main Street Gourmet History

History of Main Street Gourmet


~ 4,507 BC ~

Henrietta, Gorg the Great's favorite mistress, makes the first muffin in North America.  Gorg complains that they are too salty.


~ 1964 ~

Steve Marks and Harvey Nelson meet in nursery school.

Harvey takes two blueberry muffins at snack time, leaving none for Steve.

This would leave an indelible mark on both of them.


~ 1978 ~

Harvey and Steve become roomates in college.

Unwilling to clean dishes (or anything else in the kitchen), they eat out every meal where they first see the magic of eating prepared foods.


~ 1987 ~

While digging for gold Harvey discovers Henrietta's original recipe.  He adds a few secret ingredients (love and the souls of koala bears) and takes out some salt.

Armed with the perfect muffin, Steve and Harvey open Main Street Muffins in downtown Akron, Ohio.

More than 3 Billion visit the store on opening day (almost equaling the number of people at the future Glenn Beck rally).


~ 1988 ~

Urged by a local diner, Main Street Muffins begins selling frozen muffin batter wholesale.


~ 1989 ~

Main Street Muffins produces cookie dough as a favor for some customers.

We gain a large quick service restaurant chain as an account and the first sales rep is hired to sell muffin batter outside of Northeast Ohio.


~ 1990 ~

We outgrow the downtown building and move into an old fish distribution warehouse.

Simultaneously, Main Street Muffins becomes the number one user of Christmas tree car deodorizers in an effort to eliminate fish smell from building.


~ 1991 ~

Main Street Muffins grows quickly via more regions and more restaurants with the quick service customer.


~ 1992 ~

Main Street Muffins gets on the Inc. 500, Inc. magazine's list of the 500 fastest growing companies in America; we come in at number 319.

Also, we finally get rid of the fishy smell in the floors.

First year of Muffins for Mammograms fund raiser.


~ 1993 ~

Main Street Muffins gets on the Inc. 500 again, and comes in at number 285 of the fastest growing companies in America.

Steve is overheard saying, "It's nice being on the Inc. 500, but it would be better to be on the Forbes 400"


~ 1994 ~

We begin selling the now famous fat free and low fat Main Street Muffin batters.

Also begin selling the much less famous "recycled chicken fat and pralines" muffin.



~ 1995 ~

Main Street Muffins moves into our new 25,000 square foot manufacturing plant on Muffin Lane.......not a coincidence.

We also begin a licensing agreement in England and begin to form a relationship with a large family restaurant chain.


~ 1996 ~

Main Street Muffins is sold to Kapok, eventually named Feature Foods, and acquires Cambritt Cookies.

We begin to make custom batters. 

"Hey, let's make exactly what people want, let's allow them to be different from the guy next door" - what was at first thought to be a stroke-induced outburst from Harvey turned out to be Main Street's new business strategy.


~ 1997 ~

We change our name from Main Street Muffins to Main Street Gourmet® (MSG); afterall, we produce something called Hearty Bran - you don't get much more gourmet than that.

We acquire Creative Brownie, a mail order business.

Company celebrates its 10th anniversary.

More than 40,000 claim to have invested in the original business and were also instrumental in the success of Main Street Gourmet®.


~ 1998 ~

We introduce scones, Decadent cookies and thaw and serve Brownies.  Due to a lawsuit with their spokes model, Fruity Crocker (Betty's sister), the company exits the blueberry muffin perfume business.


~ 1999 ~

Main Street Gourmet® acquires Isabella's® and expands its production facility to 55,000 square feet. 

We introduce the "softer" Biscotti.



~ 2000 ~

Main Street Gourmet® enters the Fund Raising Industry and exits the mail order business by selling the Creative Brownie company. 


We introduce thaw and serve muffins (considered "serve and thaw muffins" but became concerned about dental injuries). 


~ 2001 ~

Not a very eventful year.


~ 2002 ~

Main Street Gourmet® celebrates 15 years of playing in batters and destroying people's diets. (If only Gorg was alive now!).

120,000 people claim to have invested in the original business, and to have been instrumental in the success of Main Street Muffins.


~ 2003 ~

Trans fats are identified as having a negative impact on our health and, as a result, we proudly announce that our All Natural Muffin Batters and our Isabella's®Thaw & Sell Muffins have always been trans fat free.

Steve Marks and his family start the Akron Marathon ( It is wildly speculated that the marathon was started so that people could eat more muffins, cookies and brownies.

Much less known, Harvey and his family start an 8 hour Comedy Central TV marathon where they actually do eat more muffins, cookies and brownies.


~ 2004 ~

Muffins for Mammograms has a record year as a result of WQMX joining Akron General and Main Street Gourmet® as sponsors. 

The first No Muffin Left Behind Outlet Sale is held with a portion of the proceeds going towards travel expenses for John Calaway, a Main Street Gourmet®employee and 2005 Special Olympics participant in Nagano, Japan.

Steve and Harvey are kidnapped and flown to a remote area in Argentina.  Their captors tell them they must buy back the business from the venture firms if they want to live.  They buy back the business.


~ 2005 ~

John Calaway returns from the 2005 Special Olympics with 2 gold medals and a bronze medal in speed skating. 

Main Street Gourmet® launches its Whole Grain muffin batter lines.


~ 2006 ~

Main Street Gourmet® enters the granola market.  Kellogg's and Nature Valley's stock drops 22% on the news.  Coincidence?  We don't think so.


~ 2007 ~

Main Street Gourmet® celebrates its 20th Anniversary on July 17th by holding a Muffin Day celebration in downtown Akron, Ohio.

The Mayor of Akron proclaims July 17th as "Muffin Day"........really!

The Chinese calendar is changed to the Year of the Muffin from Year of the Pig.  Pigs across the world refuse to eat baked goods.


~ 2008 ~

Main Street Gourmet® is chosen to create and supply custom muffin batters and granolas for one of the largest natural foods chains in the country.

Harvey attempts to take a month off in the woods to experiment eating granola as his sole source of food. Two days later he comes back - his only request - a comfortable toilet and two gallons of yogurt.


~ 2009 ~

The 5th anniversary of our No Muffin Left Behind Outlet Sale.

The sale’s growing popularity as a community event required a move to the more spacious Akron Canton Regional Foodbank where it is now held several times a year.

A fast growing national restaurant chain chooses Main Street Gourmet®  to supply a custom granola for its yogurt parfaits.

Nothing funny about that - granola is serious business (cha-ching)!

Main Street Gourmet considers name change to "Main Street Granola and Other Custom Bakery Products" but holds off because it doesn't fit on letterhead.


~ 2010 ~

Purchase of Isabella's®  Healthy Bakery products now available directly from our facility.  Customers can choose from several different items and order using a credit card, check or money order; we will ship to homes via FedEx.

Call 330-929-0000 NOW for further details and visit Isabella's website at: 

Hey, we said CALL NOW!!


~ 2011 ~

Main Street Gourmet® begins to make “double-baked” bars for several chains, pleasing the company’s natural gas supplier. 


Main Street Gourmet® adds new varieties of cakes and bars to its Foodservice line.


~ 2012 ~

Main Street Gourmet®’s 25th Anniversary year!

Our list of custom products keeps growing as we add new processes; we now offer thaw-and-serve cookies.

In anticipation of the end of the world (12-21-12), Main Street Gourmet gets ready to unveil its "End of the World Muffin". Inexplicably, the world still exists but the muffin died of embarrassment.


 ~ 2013 ~

Main Street Gourmet begins producing and selling pre-packaged “granola clusters” for a major club operator.  US Government Trademark and Patent office refuses trademark application for “Granola Clusters” so name is changed to “Small Group of Something with Granola”

 Movie rights to the Main Street Gourmet story sold to Stanley Spielberg, distant cousin of a famous director/producer.  Book rights still available for sale!  


~ 2014 ~

Main Street Gourmet receives multiple accolades:  Best Places to Work in Northeast Ohio, Cascade Development Corporate Growth Award, and the Pinnacle Award of Summit County, presented by Inside Business Magazine and United Way of Summit County.  These awards, and the room necessary to house them, force expansion plans to accelerate. 

~ 2015 ~ 


Main Street Gourmet received the Akron Community Foundation Philanthropy in Business Award 

Dan Maurer, Director of Research and Development, and the rest of his team, receive the “Innovation Award” from one of our major customers.  The customer was challenged making a product work with their current kitchen operations and they needed a solution fast.  Dan and his team were able to evaluate the situation, reformulate the product and run the re- designed product in our plant in an amazingly short amount of time. 


On an unrelated note Dan was also victorious in the office Wii Home Run Derby.  We know of no one in the food industry who has achieved both of these distinctions.  Guinness and Ripley’s have been contacted. 

~ 2016 ~ 


Ground is broken on the building expansion and renovation project that will increase capacity and functionality.  


Not coincidentally, psychiatry bills for the Co-CEOs escalate. 


Once again, Main Street Gourmet teams up with Northeast Ohio McDonalds to produce McCafe Muffins. Needless to say, we are a little McHappy about the deal.