by Lauren Nowicki
Dacon Corporation has begun the design and construction of a 46,900sf facility for Bake’n Joy Food’s North Andover headquarters. This project entails the renovation of an existing 38,000sf, 1970s industrial facility for production along with north and south side additions for baking and offices. The construction is in response to supporting operational efficiencies and continued product expansion to meet consumer demand.
Bake’n Joy Foods is an 80-year-old bakery products firm that supplies frozen ready-to-bake batters, baked items and dry mixes to retailers and food service entities. In the same year that the U.S. entered WWII, Abraham Ogan saw an opportunity to help burgeoning corner bakeries by creating bread and donut mixes using one blender. With a unique penchant for innovation, he was an early proponent of taking risks to fulfill consumer taste preferences, expanding into mixes and bases for cookies, muffins and Danish while increasing distribution through supermarket and foodservice channels.
Answering a shortage in labor demand, the firm was the first in the 1980s to produce thaw-scoop-and-bake frozen batters. The entry into frozen goods became a strategic windfall, enabling bakeries to reduce stales and waste, while minimizing labor and ingredient costs. This innovation and attenuation to consumer trends followed with low/fat free, low carb, sugar free, whole grain and clean label products.
Today Bake’n Joy serves in-store bakeries, convenience stores, universities, healthcare and hospitality outlets with nine brand lines: Kitchen Cupboard, PanFree, Ultra Moist Baking Products, Bake’n Joy Originals, Country Muffin & Cake, Homestyle, Boston Coffee Cake, Freedom Gluten Free, and YPL.
Currently run by the third generation, it remains private and family owned. Led by Robert Ogan, Abraham’s grandson, the company centers hiring and leadership on “people with heart,” maintaining a unique belief that employees will inherently do well regardless of skill level if they are empathic towards others and willing to learn. Here, kindness is an important cultural attribute for brand values and atmosphere. Additionally, customized product development, quality and a heritage of agile product development fuel success, resulting in exponential sales and employee growth.
This project includes a bakery, packaging and freezer areas to house state-of-the-art equipment that ensures production keeping up with demand. The design rationale centers on operational efficiencies to support continuous sales growth. With process engineering critical to operational efficiency, water and grease systems, as well as a state-of-the-art spiral freezer which instantly preserves food, are incorporated.
“Bake’n Joy is an example of American ingenuity identifying trends before demand begins. With consumer demand for diversified products, their growth is inevitable,” says Kevin Quinn, Dacon’s CEO.
Lauren Nowicki is director of marketing at Dacon Corporation.