Brothers Joe (left) and Ray (right) Shalhoub
Great Grandpa George Shalhoub left Lebanon penniless and headed to America – seeking the American Dream in 1886. His dream was to pursue his passion of baking and confections and introduce the unique confections of Lebanon to America.
Not afraid of hard work, George worked day and night until he was proudly able to open his first shop, George’s Bakery. He soon shared his success with his son, Joseph, and renamed his then well-established shop to George Shalhoub & Son, Baker and Confectioner. There they built a following for their fine handmade pastries and confection specialties.
As the business flourished, Joseph welcomed his own son, Louis, to the family business. Once again, in continuing this fine family tradition, changed its name to Joseph Shalhoub & Son.
Louis, like Great Grandfather George, had a dream. A dream to further share his family’s unique confections. In 1950, this vision was interrupted, as Louis went to proudly serve in the United States Army, earning a Bronze Star but still dreaming of his plans for the shop back home.
Quickly, upon Louis’s return from the military, new creative items were added to their offerings. One very special item stood out. A Lebanese treat known as amardeen. Their amardeen was made from an apricot paste, which was handmade, pressed, dried into a sheet and sold by the pound. People came from all around as word spread of this very special confection.
Joseph and, son, Louis
Great Grandpa George Shalhoub
In a light bulb moment, Louis realized he could produce their mouth-watering sheets as individual pieces. With his wife, Madeline, they started hand pressing the apricot paste and hand rolling the individual pieces. In 1960, the first fruit rolls were sold. Apricot only!
Little did they know how popular their fruit rolls or “shoe leather” as they were then known, would become. Always in touch with family tradition, they packaged their “shoe leather” under the brand name JORAY®, named after their two sons Joseph and Ray. In 1975, the sons joined their parents and together they continued to grow JORAY® Fruit Rolls into what it is today.
At Joseph Shalhoub & Son, we are proud that our fruit rolls are still handmade today with the same quality as they were three generations ago. JORAY® Fruit Rolls have grown from one flavor to nine. They are now available throughout the United States as well as abroad.
We are proud of our history, our family tradition and Great Grandpa George’s American Dream.
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