Communion bread: the business side

Ever wonder where the communion wafer most Episcopalians consume every weekend comes from? Turns out that most of them are made by a family business in Rhode Island.

The New York Times had an article about Cavanagh featured on Christmas Day. It’s still fresh enough to read on the second day of Christmas:

“The family-owned company makes about 80 percent of the communion bread used by the Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran and Southern Baptist churches in the United States. It has a similar market share in Australia, Canada and Britain, and is now looking to expand to West Africa.

‘We feel as though we’re a bakery, and all we’re making is bread,’ said Andy Cavanagh, the company’s general manager, and part of the fourth generation of Cavanaghs to work here. ‘It’s not that we don’t have respect for what happens to it, but that transformation is out of our hands and takes place in a church. The best thing we can do is make sure the bread is perfect in every way possible.’

Some customers say the Cavanaghs have such a big market share because their product is about as close to perfect as earthly possible. ‘It doesn’t crumb, and I don’t like fragments of our Lord scattering all over the floor,’ said the Rev. Bob Dietel, an Episcopal priest.”

Read the full article here.

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