Pop-Tarts Creator Dies at 96

(LibertySons.org) – In 1963, William (Bill) LaMothe had an idea. He wanted to create a breakfast pastry that people could take with them on the go. So, he hired “Doc” Joe Thompson and his team to create a twist on toast and jam. That “fruit scone” sample went through a few more transformations to become the shelf-stable Pop-Tart we all know today, with the instrumental ingenuity of Bill Post.

On February 14, NBC News reported that Mr. Post passed away at the age of 96. In the budding years of the emerging Pop-Tarts invention, Post worked as the plant manager for Hekman Biscuit Co., which later became Kellogg’s. The company’s executives reportedly approached him with an idea and a prototype for Pop-Tarts. Kellanova credits Post for helping to bring their vision to life.

In his own words, Post said his team took the sample and created 10,000 hand samples, took them to shopping malls, and “scaled up for a test market in Cleveland,” Ohio. He said the products “blew off the shelves.” Although popular right off the bat, the original test product didn’t have icing on it. Post suggested his team add icing, and it was a success. In 2022, the company sold about three billion Pop-Tarts.

According to his obituary, Bill Post was a Michigan native born to Dutch immigrants. He served in the Army Air Corp before taking the job a Hekman — a move that changed the trajectory of his professional life. After “assembl[ing] an amazing team” bringing Pop-Tarts to life, Mr. Post and his family moved to Illinois to work at the corporate offices of Keebler. He retired as senior vice president of the company at 56 but stayed on as a consultant for 20 more years — at Keebler’s request. He and his wife moved back to Grand Rapids in 2003.

During a previous tour of the plant, Bill Post encouraged everyone to go after what they wanted, even if others thought they couldn’t do it. He said, “Show them you can.”

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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