If your relatives grew up in San Antonio, chances are they have fond memories of visiting the Butter Krust factory on Broadway. Many students in schools all over San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi visited the Butter Krust factories on fieldtrips. On these tours students could see the manufacturing process and at the end of the visit were given a piece of freshly made bread. The smell of the delicious warm bread was an intoxicating scent that many people still remember. The factory also gave students school supplies like pencils, rulers, and book covers that featured the Butter Krust logo.
In this video from the 1960s, groups of elementary school students visit the Butter Krust factory in Austin. During this time, some schools in Texas had still not desegregated their classrooms. The footage shows Anglo and African American children visiting the factory separately. All the kids were delighted to watch the bread coming down the assembly line and a big machine mixing the dough. Workers in their gingham uniforms brought out large pans so the students could take turns sniffing the bread. At the end of the tour students and teachers enjoyed a thick slice of warm Butter Krust bread straight out of the oven.
Video has no sound.
Butter Krust Factory Tour | Courtesy of Texas Archive of the Moving Image
Aside from the tasty snacks, another perk of visiting a Butter Krust factory was the fun swag. Every student went home with items like rulers, pencils, paper book covers, and coloring books. These items are now considered collector’s items! View the gallery below to see some of these promotional items which featured the company’s iconic blue gingham pattern.
Another memorable part of Butter Krust history was a billboard located near the corner of San Pedro Ave. and Hildebrand. The eye-catching sign was motorized which allowed the bread slices to rotate, giving the illusion that they were falling out of the loaf and onto the plate!
1950s Butter Krust Billboard | Courtesy of Instagram: @BarbacoApparel
The billboard displayed various Butter Krust ads for several decades which is why so many San Antonian’s remember it well. While the billboard no longer promotes Butter Krust, it has advertised a variety of other companies–often incorporating the moving element into the artwork. For example, the Minute Maid sign pictured below featured orange juice being poured into a glass. The photo on the right is a Google Map image of the billboard as it currently stands in 2021.
Although the old Butter Krust factory no longer exists, many San Antonians still recall the school fieldtrips, freebies, and exact location of the billboard. Ask people in your family or community what they remember about Butter Krust.
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