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Historic Milton cracker business for sale

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  June 27, 2013 02:25 PM

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The Milton company that claims to have invented the term "cracker" is up for sale, but owner Jim Davis is emphasizing that he wants to see the business stay alive.

G. H. Bent Co. in Milton is up for sale, but owner Jim Davis said he would want to see the historic business continue if sold.

Davis and his wife put G.H. Brent Co. on the market about a month ago through Quincy-based real estate agent Daniel J. Flynn & Co. But Davis said they aren't desperate to sell.

“I love it, but it might be time for a change,” said Davis, who added he had been owner for five years. “Someone new could breathe some new life into it.”

G. H. Bent Co., better known as Bent’s Cookie Factory, started in 1801 in Milton, according to the company’s website. Josiah Bent began baking biscuits called “water crackers” that would not deteriorate during long sea voyages from Boston.

The website claims this is where the term “cracker” came from.

Later, the company sold the hardtack crackers used by troops during the Civil War.

“I would hate to see it go – we have a great cracker line, great sandwiches downstairs,” Davis said. “I’m assuming it would go to another foodie, someone who wants to keep it going.”

Davis and his wife are running the company as if they were not selling it and are proceeding with business as normal.

The asking price is $699,000 for the 7 Pleasant St. location. Davis said he would continue as part-owner for one price or walk away completely for a better price.

He said he and his wife are unsure what their next business venture would be if Bent's is sold.

Davis directed prospective buyers to Flynn at 617-479-9000.

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