Thursday, March 02, 2006

Little Miss Sunbeam

Someone has asked me about the history of Little Miss Sunbeam and what town she was from; we were thinking perhaps she was from our local area of Louisiana. I did a little digging and this is what I found.

Flowers Bakeries has come a long way since its first loaves of bread were baked in Thomasville, Georgia in 1919. Flowers and Sunbeam have been partners since 1944. Little Miss Sunbeam and the Sunbeam brand are owned by Quality Bakers of America, a baking cooperative.

Flowers Bakery says this:
What is the name of the original Little Miss Sunbeam? No one knows the name of the little girl who inspired this well-loved white bread brand. In 1942, Quality Bakers of America (QBA) hired Ellen Segner, a *New York artist, to create a bread trademark that housewives would find irresistible. As the story goes, Segner spotted a girl in a park in *New York City, sketched her likeness, and used the sketch as the basis for Little Miss Sunbeam. Sunbeam is a trademark owned by QBA, a bakery cooperative.

And another story is that it was actual pictures taken of a little girl in *Ohio. Here is her story (not much information about her stint as Little Miss Sunbeam, though):

The Little Miss Sunbeam GirlDriven by a great love for imagination, Judi Garratt (Master of Arts ’74) enjoys a vocation rich in freedom of expression. One of the nation’s leading pantomime artists, Garratt began performing professionally at the age of 13.

Today she focuses her career on bringing theatre to schoolchildren, underprivileged youths, kids with disabilities, pediatric hospital patients, and young library patrons. That’s a long way from her solid *Ohio roots and her national debut at the age of two as the smiling baby on the Sunbeam Bread wrapper.

For more information on Little Miss Sunbeam, visit the QBA site and

Then there is the Little Miss Sunbeam "look-alike" article about Bonnie Riley, who was 7 when she won a contest as the Little Miss Sunbeam "look-alike"
It's interesting reading!

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