Josh Allen is the founder and president of Companion and serves as co-owner alongside his sister, Jodi Allen Gordon. Allen oversees Companion’s creative vision and product development in grocery chains and specialty stores in the greater St. Louis area.
Allen’s story is one of St. Louis’ unique success stories. With no formal training in bread making and solely relying on a stone French bakers’ oven, he started Companion Baking in 1993 at the age of 24. Within two years, St. Louis’ largest grocery chains – Schnucks and Dierbergs – began offering Companion’s baked goods on their shelves and within four years Modern Baking Magazine recognized Companion Baking, now simply called Companion, with its Industry Leadership Award. In 2007, USA Today named Companion one of the “Top 10 Artisan Bakeries” in the country. Today, Companion’s bread is served in more than 100 local restaurants, 30 Schnucks and Dierbergs, and has three dine-in locations in Clayton, Ladue and the Central West End.
Amidst Companion’s growth as one of St. Louis’ signature microproducers, Allen is still motivated by the simpler things in life, specifically, what he calls – “the quest for the perfect loaf of bread.” His passion to “create something new everyday” and invest the necessary time to perfect each product is what drives Allen and continues to ensure the success of Companion.