Updated: Jun 12, 2020
Little Miss Sunbeam is one of the most recognizable faces in product marketing. The bread with the picture of the little girl on it is a nostalgic favorite of lovers of vintage Americana. Both inspire wonderful memories of childhood foods and bygone times. The desire to hold onto those memories from a different era has created a surge in collecting vintage advertisements. One such collector is Joe Sarchet.
Joe Sarchet longed for the days of small country stores, much like those he grew up going to as a child in Buford, GA. In an effort to recreate the time period from his youth, Sarchet began collecting items that reminded him of when life was simpler. He converted his family garage into a “country store” replica, filling the interior with vintage items he has collected over 35 years. By picking through auctions, flea markets and yard sales, Sarchet has amassed a variety of objects. The walls are now covered with posters, calendars, and signs; and antique counters filled with promotional items.
Within Sarchet’s Country Store, nothing is for sale. He does, however, open it to the public to share his prized finds. Of all his pieces, one of his favorite collections is that of Sunbeam Bread, specifically Little Miss Sunbeam. The smiling little girl with the bright blue eyes and wavy blond hair created by New York artist Ellen Segner. The same woman who illustrated the Dick and Jane books.
Sarchet began by collecting Little Miss Sunbeam posters, signs and display figures. His collection includes many Miss Sunbeams in all sizes and materials, famously holding her favorite bread. Some pieces are extremely rare finds. One stand-up model show Miss Sunbeam holding a three-dimensional bread; another features a sitting Miss Sunbeam with a loaf on her lap. Some even rarer finds feature movie stars in their current movie of the time. One entire wall in his store is dedicated completely to Miss Sunbeam.
But of all his items, one thing is for sure, he has long had a soft spot for Sunbeam Bread. Maybe because it represents true Americana. Or perhaps because his daughter Carissa so closely resembled Little Miss Sunbeam as a child. Regardless of the reason, Joe Sarchet is a champion of preservation through his extensive collection of our nation’s product memorabilia. And we at Sunbeam Bread thank him for cherishing our Little Miss Sunbeam as much as we do!
To visit Joe Sarchet’s Country Store, or for more information,