Baking & Snack - May 2018 - 36


father's lessons in quality and service to grow the business further. Ten years after taking on Miller Baking Co.,
he incorporated soft pretzel buns into the daily fresh
production and watched the line take over production.
"We grew from 35 lb in a Hobart mixer to a couple
hundred pounds to a couple thousand pounds to, 'Holy
cow!' " Mr. Miller recalled. "People were calling us
from other cities wanting to know if they could get the
Then in 2010, three years after toying with the idea
of soft pretzel buns, Whole Foods Midwest division approached Miller Baking Co. about selling frozen pretzel buns to the retail chain. Thus began the move from
a bakery selling rolls in white bakery bags to selling a
branded product. Pretzilla was born.

Dedicated to Pretzilla
Miller Baking Co.'s original building on 5th Street in
downtown Milwaukee is 12,500 sq ft. In that facility, the
bakery made all 175 SKUs, including 30 varieties of do(From left) Nick Nielsen,
financial controller; Brian
Miller, president and
owner; Mike Walz, COO;
and Nick Yeh, chief of
staff, lead Miller Baking
Co. in its ideals of delivering quality and service to
its customers.

36 Baking & Snack May 2018 /

nuts with different toppings, and managed to squeeze in
Pretzilla production wherever it could.
"We were producing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week of
soft pretzel buns along with all the fresh route items,"
Mr. Miller said. "We were using literally every square
inch of the building, and it wasn't until May 2014 that we
actually moved into a dedicated facility for Pretzilla and
put in automated equipment."
Moving Pretzilla into its own facility was key to Miller
Baking Co.'s growth. "I held off growth because there was
only so much room and so much time," he said. Wanting
to carefully manage the business, Mr. Miller had been
slow to invest in more space. Being at capacity, however,
forced him to make a move. In 2012, he bought a new
facility for Pretzilla production. Eventually the building
was expanded it to its current 30,000 sq ft. Production
started in the facility two years later.
This new bakery, the Steven Road facility, houses one
production line and four packaging lines. The flexibility
of the Gemini Bakery Equipment makeup line allows

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