Businessman And Philanthropist Charles E. Entenmann Has Died

What's your favorite Entenmann's dessert? Is it the classic crumb coffee cake, topped with a thick layer of streusel? Or do you prefer its frosted donuts, which feature yellow cake enrobed in a shiny chocolate glaze? Or maybe it's the brand's cherry cheese danish drizzled with sweet icing? Whatever your preferred treat, many remember the supermarket brand from shopping trips with their family: strolling down the aisles and spotting the signature white and blue boxes on the end caps — and of course begging mom or dad to add one to the cart.

The well-loved American brand started out as a Brooklyn, New York bakery all the way back in 1898, and is still going strong, thanks in part to one man who pastry lovers across the U.S. are mourning.

Charles E. Entenmann grew up working at the Entenmann's bakery, which was opened by his grandfather, and helped turn the brand into the nationwide sensation it is today, shares People. In addition to his relationship to the brand, Entenmann was known for his philanthropy. He died at age 92 on February 24 in Key Largo, Florida, surrounded by family, according to his obituary.

Charles E. Entenmann had a big impact on more than just baked goods

According to its official website, Entenmann's was founded in 1898 by William Entenmann, a German immigrant who landed in Flatbush, Brooklyn. There, William founded Entenmann's Bakery, delivering desserts door-to-door in a horse-drawn wagon. Throughout the 1900s, the business grew, counting well-known New York City families (including the Vanderbilts) among its customers. It was eventually taken over by his son, William Entenmann Jr.

In 1951, when William Jr. died, his wife Martha and their three sons Charles, Robert, and William III took over the business — and began its push into supermarkets. According to People, Charles E. Entenmann was responsible for much of the brand's massive growth, and the family was able to sell the company for $233 million in 1978.

A philanthropist, Charles E. Entenmann supported Great South Bay YMCA in Long Island, NY; helped fund efforts to "improve water quality in Great South Bay," research a "self-sustaining power cell," and advance wound healing technology with his healthcare company Biolife; and, with his brothers, Charles set up an endowment for the Entenmann Family Cardiac Center at the Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, according to his obituary.

Charles E. Entenmann is survived by two children, seven grandchildren, and plenty of great-grandchildren. "His generosity, intellect, and wit will forever be remembered," his obituary reads in part. Add to that? His delicious cakes.