Baking & Snack - May 2018 - 46
MILLER BAKING CO.
Top: Operators load soft pretzel buns into the packaging line. Soft pretzel buns
can be packaged for foodservice or retail.
Bottom: After cooling in the ambient temperature of the bakery, soft pretzel
buns are bagged by a bulkpacker for foodservice customers before heading
to the freezer.
He made the difficult decision to end the fresh business
in December 2017 and renovated the 5th Street bakery so
it could produce Pretzilla bites and twists.
"It was an emotional decision because of the connectivity it had to my family history," he said. The building
was gutted, and construction began on Jan. 2. The old
building needed a lot of TLC, and renovating from floor
"When you find a good
baker, you give him
what he wants."
Mike Walz, Miller Baking Co.
to ceiling allowed Miller Baking Co. to get the building
in compliance with all the latest regulations for food and
worker safety. Both bakeries are SQF Level 2. "So much
about what SQF or Global Food Safety Initiative is about
is not only the paperwork but the infrastructure and
maintaining it so you can better prevent foodborne illnesses," Mr. Miller said.
Construction on the 5th Street bakery was finished
March 5, and production on the one and a half lines,
which include Koenig makeup equipment, began the
following week. The bakery also uses Revent ovens, a
change from the Sveba Dahlen at the Steven Road facility to appease the company's baker.
"Our baker grew up with Revent ovens, so that's why
we use them," Mr. Walz said. "When you find a good
baker, you give him what he wants."
Even with the recent investment in this facility, Mr.
Miller already predicts that the company will outgrow it
quickly. The next step is to move all production under
one roof. This old building isn't going anywhere, though;
it's been a part of the company for too long. "I see this as
a really great test facility down the road," he said. "We've
got some exciting ideas for other line extensions. Instead
of trying to work in testing around our production
schedule, I'd like to be able to keep continuous R&D, and
this is a great building to do that."
For now, the immediate game focuses on expansion
of the Pretzilla brand. It may have national distribution,
but there is still much of the country that is unfamiliar with the product. "We're strong in the Midwest and
other major metros, but we're still not available in many
parts of the country," Mr. Miller said. Someday, he hopes
Pretzilla will be a household name.
46 Baking & Snack May 2018 / www.bakingandsnack.com