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January 3rd, 2003
Sol Dorf, longtime Milwaukee resident and founder of Milwaukee Biscuit Company, died in Lake Worth, Fla., Dec. 19 of complications of age. He was 94.
The youngest of eight children, he was born in Chicago to immigrant parents from Eastern Europe. An entrepreneur from an early age, he bought corn from a neighboring farmer and hired his pals to resell it door-to-door. Always a hard worker, he held down two paper routes and lit street lamps before landing his first job in the food industry at age 19.
He was hired as store manager at the local A & P Grocery, where he conceived what he described as the waterfall cookie display. He was soon hired away by a Chicago biscuit and cracker company and spent the next 20 years as a supervisor and cookie salesman on Chicagos south side.
He and his wife of 69 years, Eva, were transferred to Milwaukee in 1935 to open a market for the Chicago firm. In 1949, he founded his own company by selling cookies out of his car. His wife was the bookkeeper and accountant.
From these humble beginnings, the firm grew to be one of the largest food distributors in the Midwest with more than 600 employees before being sold to a conglomerate in 1991, said his son, Jerry Dorf.
He added, My father was greatly respected as an employer who valued each and every one of the people who worked for him.
He received several industry awards and served as president of the Biscuit and Cracker Distributors Association. He retired in 1978 at the age of 70 and handed the company off to sons Stan and Jerry. though the company was sold in 1991, he maintained an office there until his death.
He was a member of Congregation Emanu-El Bne Jeshurun for over 60 years and belonged to Bnai Brith his entire adult life.
Further, his family recalled, He touched the lives of many people. He was known for his sense of humor, warmth and personal charm.
He was an avid golfer and a lover of baseball. And he enjoyed spending time with his family.
He is survived by his wife Eva Dorf (nee Eisenberg) of Bayside; sons Jerry (Harriet) Dorf of River Hills, Sheldon (Phyllis) Dorf of Fox Point and Stan (Susanne) Dorf of Bayside; nine grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Dec. 22 at Congregation Beth Israel. Burial was in Spring Hill Cemetery.
Memorials to Congregation Emanu-El Bne Jeshurun were suggested by the family.