On the Market: Original ‘Pepperidge Farm’ sits on six acres

FAIRFIELD — America is not the only entity that was “born” on the Fourth of July. A rather famous company called Pepperidge Farm opened its first major commercial bakery on that date.

“On July 4, 1947 (Pepperidge Farm founder Margaret Rudkin’s) dream came true with the opening of the company’s first modern bakery,” according to the company’s website. It was on Independence Day that Pepperidge Farm officials “celebrated by cutting the ribbon on its state-of-the-art bakery,” in Norwalk where the nationally renowned company is still headquartered.

The inception of the bakery giant actually began rather modestly years earlier in Rudkin’s Fairfield kitchen on the original “Pepperidge Farm.” The Tudor-style colonial house at 2 Fence Row Drive that Margaret and her husband Henry built in 1928 has a wonderful history, according to the listing agent. “Once consisting of close to 200 acres of orchards and gardens, the property was repurposed following the arrival of the Great Depression when it was converted from an equestrian estate to a working farm,” the agent said in marketing material.

She named her company after the farm, which was named for an ancient Pepperidge tree, also known as a black tupelo, that was on the property. The “fairy tale,” as Margaret Rudkin liked to call Pepperidge Farm, became the passion of her life, one source said.

Rudkin’s Fairfield house and the surrounding grounds look like they belong in a fairy tale; a charmingly beautiful Tudor-style Colonial house, if you can call a palatial 8,776 square feet of living space “charming.” The agent calls the ivy-covered stone, masonry, wood and stucco house with a slate roof a “gracious and stately landmark” in the Fairfield landscape.

“The main house has been painstakingly and lovingly restored by the current owners to its former glory and is now offered on over six and half acres,” according to the agent, who explained the sale includes a two-acre adjacent building lot. While located within the gated community of The Ridge, in the Greenfield Hill neighborhood, the property is not part of the association. Still, visitors must pass through a 24/7-manned security gate to gain entrance, adding significantly to the privacy of this stunning setting.

Opportunities for outdoor pursuits are found throughout this manicured property: on the tennis court, in and around the in-ground concrete swimming pool, and on the large flagstone terrace.

The circular driveway lined in Belgium block in front of the house provides ample parking for entertaining. The multi-paneled front door opens into the true center hall foyer with limestone flooring and Doric columns. A reception or sitting area features a fireplace, wainscoting on the lower walls and decorative leaded glass casement windows with a transom. In the cavernous — yet warm and comfortable — formal living room there is a fireplace, wide-planked flooring, sophisticated wood paneled walls, and a beamed ceiling.

More Information

TYPE: Tudor-style Colonial

ADDRESS: 2 Fence Row Drive

PRICE: $2,450,000


FEATURES: Gated community, in-ground concrete swimming pool, tennis court, exterior lighting, porch, flagstone terrace, underground sprinkler, garden area, 6.52-acre level property/ private subdivision, balcony, proximity to the Patterson Club, convenient to Fairfield and Westport, central vacuum, five fireplaces, slate roof, central air conditioning and natural gas heat, attached and detached garages totaling four vehicle bays, circular driveway, stone wall, public water connection, septic system, attic, five bedrooms, six full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: Burr Elementary, Tomlinson Middle, Fairfield Warde High

ASSESSMENT: $1,780,590

TAX RATE: 26.79 mills

TAXES: $47,702

In the formal dining room there is a fireplace, parquet floor and bay/bow window. The library also has a parquet floor. The sizable gourmet eat-in kitchen features a long two-tiered center island with a breakfast bar for six, glass-front cabinetry and sliding doors in the casual dining area to the terrace.

There are two bedrooms on the main level, creating a potential in-law or au pair space. On the second floor there are three more bedrooms. The spacious master suite features a marble fireplace, vaulted barrel ceiling, built-in bookshelves, sitting area, walk-in closet, and private marble bath. In the second floor family room, which doubles as a media room or home theater, there is a marble fireplace. The office, also on this level, has access to a balcony/deck.

For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house, contact Andrew S. Whiteley of Al Filippone Associates and William Raveis Real Estate at 203-258-1595 or andreww@afahomes.com.

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