The Toothy History of Little Debbie Snack Cakes

Tom Blank of Weird History Food looks at the toothy chronology of the famous Little Debbie brand, noting its humble beginnings and famous mascot.

If you ever took a bag lunch to school, odds are you’re pretty acquainted with Little Debbie, the preferred prepackaged brand of treats adored by latchkey kids the world over. Is it a snack? Is it a dessert? If you’re bold enough, the answer to both questions is yes. Whoever you may be, Little Debbie has a snack for you.

Blank explains how Oather “O.D.” McKee and his wife Ruth started the company, how OD sold home-baked cakes from his car around Chattanooga, Tennessee during The Great Depression, how his granddaughter Debbie came to be the longtime brand mascot, and how McKee Foods became one of the most profitable snack food empires with women at the helm.

One of the most iconic logos in food, did you know that Little Debbie is an actual person? Founded in 1960, the McKee Baking Company changed one little girl’s life forever when her face became the face of tasty snack cakes. Come find out just who Little Debbie really is.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.