Martin named 2018 business person of year

Pictured, from left, are Steve Christian, president of the Greater Chambersburg (Pa.) Chamber of Commerce; Jim Martin, president of Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe Inc.; Martin’s wife, Donna Martin; and Kim Crider, chairwoman of the chamber’s board of directors. Jim Martin was named the chamber’s 2018 Business Person of the Year.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — James “Jim” Martin, president of Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe Inc., has been named the 2018 Business Person of the Year for the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce.

Martin was chosen by a panel of business and civic leaders because of his business experience and growth, service to the community and contributions to economic development in the region. Given annually, the award is designed to honor business leaders who have made long-term contributions to their profession and the community.

“Jim Martin and his team have created an amazing success story, and they are constantly donating their products as well as time to worthwhile causes in our community,” Kim Crider, chair of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce board of directors, said in a news release announcing the award. “We are honored to present this award to him and appreciate his business’ dedication to our region.”

Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe had humble beginnings. Martin would help his parents, Lloyd and Lois Martin, sell pastries out of their converted garage-turned-bakery. At this time, the Martins perfected their potato roll recipe.

During the 1970s and 1980s, production of Martin’s Potato Rolls expanded and rolls filled the shelves of supermarkets across the region.

Today, Jim Martin and his family manage the state-of-the-art bakery headquarters in Chambersburg with more than 500 employees, as well as an additional bakery in Valdosta, Ga., with 300 employees.

Martin’s Potato Rolls and bread products are widely distributed along the East Coast and as far west as Chicago and New Orleans. The company has also exported its products to 32 other countries around the world.

Although the company has grown substantially, Martin’s has stayed focused on baking the best products while centering on integrity, fairness and faith in God, chamber officials said in a news release about the award.

Jim Martin’s community contributions include supporting the Roxbury Holiness Camp and Shalom Christian Academy, serving on the Messiah College board of trustees, volunteering at Antrim Brethren in Christ and donating Martin’s products to many nonprofits each year.

On average, Martin’s donates time, products and resources that account for 10 to 20 percent of their profits each year. The donations are made to charities and organizations both locally and abroad, including homeless shelters, food banks and disaster relief.

The Chambersburg chamber has recognized the Business Person of the Year since 1987.