Founded in 1896 by George Leidenheimer, Leidenheimer Bakery’s original bread baking style was far different from today's classic French Bread, po-boy making loaves. Leidenheimer established his Dryades Street bakery after moving to New Orleans from Deidesheim, Germany and became a part of the neighborhood’s growing German immigrant population. Leidenheimer began by making dense, dark brown German bread loaves, but changed his style to cater to the French customer base in Old New Orleans, who preferred a light, airy texture to their bread.
Leidenheimer is was one of thousands of Germans who flocked to New Orleans in the mid-1800s. Other German bakeries that still exist include Alois Binder Bakery, Haydel’s Bakery, and until Katrina, Hubig’s Pies. The Leidenheimer bakery has since moved from its original Dryades Street location to nearby 1501 Simon Bolivar Avenue to accommodate its growing production and popularity.
Leidenheimer is now in its third generation, now managed by Sandy Whann and sister Katherine Whann. Leidenheimer Bakery is the city’s largest producer of French Bread, and continues to economically support its Central City neighborhood, a section of town the Whann’s affectionately label, “the bakery neighborhood.”