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100-year-old Dayton business is for sale

Brucken Foods, a 100-year-old Dayton company that supplies seasonings and condiments to local restaurants and grocery stores, is for sale, according to Donny Tucker, who has owned the business for 37 years.

“It’s time for me to go fishing,” Tucker said.

When it was founded by Louie Brucken in 1913 in the 1500 block of Xenia Avenue in east Dayton, the wholesale food company delivered its pickles, spices and condiments packed in heavy wooden boxes on the back of a horse-drawn cart.

Today Brucken Foods operates out of a small warehouse at 78 N. Smithville Road in Dayton, and Tucker is the only employee. Its products — including Brucken Steak Seasoning, barbecue rub, hot mustard, hot horseradish and barbecue sauces — dot the shelves of grocery stores such as Kroger and Dorothy Lane Market and are sold online through the Brucken Foods website. They are also shipped or delivered to butcher shops, restaurants, pubs and taverns throughout Ohio and in Indiana and Kentucky.

Tucker agreed to take over the company in 1977 after the son of founder Louie Brucken died unexpectedly. Tucker moved Brucken Foods to its current Smithville Road location in 1981.

At its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the company had five employees, Tucker said. But the economic downturn and the closing of several Dayton-area restaurants such as Dominic’s cost Brucken Foods some of its regular accounts, prompting Tucker to launch the online retail side of his business.

Tucker said the Smithville Road property is for sale in addition to the business itself.

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