instore - September 2017 - com - 1

Insight Insider

Insight Insider

Companion Bakery

Spotlight

Operations

Donuts

PHO substitutes

Insight Insider:

Bringing artisan to scale
By Andy Nelson

aintaining the quality standards your customers have
come to expect, while at the
same time growing your company -
it's a balancing act many if not most
businesses have to deal with at some
point, and it requires skill, patience
and hard work to pull it off.

M

Josh Allen, award-winning baker and
owner of Maryland Heights, Missouribased Companion Bakery, which supplies grocery and foodservice clients as
well as operating its own on-site retail
bakery, knows his company has to grow
if it wants to thrive. His quest is to grow
it wisely, to bring what he calls "intention" to a process that, at his company,
yields 30,000 pounds of fresh, frozen
and par-baked product daily.
"I've always defined artisan bread as
bread made with intention, recognizing
that probably as soon as we've turned
on a mechanical mixer we've walked
away from 'artisan' in the true sense of
the word," Allen says.
Turning out 30,000 pounds a day, Companion, which was founded in 1993,

can't shape and mix its doughs by hand
or bake them in a wood-fired oven, as
some of Allen's fellow master bakers
still do. Some tasks at the company
are still done manually, but that's due
more to economics than to a desire to
be artisanal, Allen says. If he could, he'd
automate more processes and increase
his volumes. The business owner in him
knows it's a necessity.

Companion floor are San Cassiano mixers, MIWE roll-in e+ ovens and proof
boxes, makeup equipment from Rheon
and Bloemhof and a Contemar indoor
flour silo. Companion uses a multideck instead of a tunnel oven to handle
the big variety of products the company makes, and it ages its dough two
or three days in the silo; "green" flour
doesn't handle hydration as well as flour
that's been aged, Allen says. In addition,

"I'm a huge believer that you either
grow or you die," he says. "We're certainly interested in growth and would
love to grow out of this facility. We have
a very competitive group of people that
work with us, for us, who are interested
in that growth."
Change is the rule, he says. When your
business reaches a certain level that
you're happy with, you get to enjoy it
for about a month and a half, on average, before you have to start asking the
"what's next?" question. So how do you
grow while still maintaining "intention"?
"Thinking about the process at every
step," for starters, Allen says. Using only
the best equipment also helps. On the

COMPANION PRODUCES 30,000 POUNDS OF BREAD
AND OTHER BAKED GOODS DAILY.
PHOTO: JOHN UNREIN

commissary INSIDER

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SEPTEMBER 2017 * 1



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of instore - September 2017

instore -- September 2017
Editor's Note - The best tacos in town
CONTENTS
SPOTLIGHT - By the numbers: Sandwiches
Specialty Insights - Consider: The new Gouda
Cover story - Hispanic flavor
Commissary Insider - September 2017
Insight Insider: Bringing artisan to scale
Product Category Spotlight: The donut evolution
Operations PHO alternatives come to forefront
News - Need to know
Retail evolution - Ecommerce rising
Software solutions - Menu manager
Merchandising - On display: Tailgating season
Product trends - First to market
Product showcase
instore - September 2017 - instore -- September 2017
instore - September 2017 - 2
instore - September 2017 - Editor's Note - The best tacos in town
instore - September 2017 - 4
instore - September 2017 - Editor's Note - The best tacos in town
instore - September 2017 - 4
instore - September 2017 - 5
instore - September 2017 - CONTENTS
instore - September 2017 - 7
instore - September 2017 - SPOTLIGHT - By the numbers: Sandwiches
instore - September 2017 - 9
instore - September 2017 - Specialty Insights - Consider: The new Gouda
instore - September 2017 - 11
instore - September 2017 - Cover story - Hispanic flavor
instore - September 2017 - 13
instore - September 2017 - 14
instore - September 2017 - 15
instore - September 2017 - 16
instore - September 2017 - 17
instore - September 2017 - 18
instore - September 2017 - Insight Insider: Bringing artisan to scale
instore - September 2017 - com - 2
instore - September 2017 - com - 3
instore - September 2017 - com - 4
instore - September 2017 - com - 5
instore - September 2017 - Product Category Spotlight: The donut evolution
instore - September 2017 - com - 7
instore - September 2017 - com - 8
instore - September 2017 - com - 9
instore - September 2017 - Operations PHO alternatives come to forefront
instore - September 2017 - com - 11
instore - September 2017 - com - 12
instore - September 2017 - com - 13
instore - September 2017 - com - 14
instore - September 2017 - com - 15
instore - September 2017 - com - 16
instore - September 2017 - News - Need to know
instore - September 2017 - Retail evolution - Ecommerce rising
instore - September 2017 - 21
instore - September 2017 - 22
instore - September 2017 - 23
instore - September 2017 - 24
instore - September 2017 - 25
instore - September 2017 - 26
instore - September 2017 - 27
instore - September 2017 - Software solutions - Menu manager
instore - September 2017 - 29
instore - September 2017 - Merchandising - On display: Tailgating season
instore - September 2017 - 31
instore - September 2017 - Product trends - First to market
instore - September 2017 - Product showcase
instore - September 2017 - 34
instore - September 2017 - 35
instore - September 2017 - 36
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