In-N-Out Says Farewell to the Man Behind Their Buns

John Markulis, bread baker extraordinaire, has died at the age of 83.

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It’s a sad week for burger aficionados: John Markulis, the man who provided In-N-Out and Southern California with the “Best Buns in Town,” passed away this past Sunday at age 83.

Markulis was the owner of Puritan Bakery, an establishment that has been supplying breads and buns to more than 2,000 restaurants in the Greater Los Angeles Area, including iconic favorites such as In-N-Out, Fatburger, and Johnny Rockets. He joined the bakery as a partner in 1965, when business was struggling. Fast forward to 2014: Puritan Bakery now offers more than 300 breads and buns, and is one of the largest commercial bakeries still standing in Southern California.

He would always say, when you bit into the hamburger, the first thing you would taste is the bun, so the quality had to be very important.

What made Markulis an icon was his devotion to never compromising the quality of his products, and never taking shortcuts with his breads or with his customers. “He would always say, when you bit into the hamburger, the first thing you would taste is the bun, so the quality had to be very important,” his daughter, Cathy McIndoo, told the Orange County Register.

Dean Kim of OC Baking Company gave Markulis the title of pioneering the mass production of artisan-style buns, which requires seven hours of production in order to achieve a chewy texture that toasts well.

According to Puritan’s website, the buns are specially designed to withstand the meat juices and condiments that would cause lesser buns to turn soggy. In-N-Out’s specially formulated 4-inch buns have been served by the chain since the 1950s.

[via LA Times]

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