Baking & Snack - June 2018 - 22


"If you want the
company to
reflect the beliefs
or values of
ownership then
you have to
cultivate the
culture accordingly."
Josh Skow, Canyon Bakehouse

A defined company culture has helped Canyon
Bakehouse find employees who are the right fit
for the company.
Canyon Bakehouse

Thomasville, GA, company culture unifies. Every local bakery has its own culture, but they also represent
Flowers and should reflect the company's vision. It's
something Flowers leadership considers before every
partnership or potential acquisition. "We look carefully at the existing culture and ask several culture-related questions," said Allen Shiver, president and CEO,
Flowers Foods. That can include asking if the existing
partner or bakery culture will be a good fit with Flowers
Foods and if both companies share basic values. "It is
important to acknowledge and respect what we have in
common and the differences that make our respective
companies unique," he said.
For family-owned bakeries such as The Bakery Cos.,
Nashville, defining culture became critical as the company grew. As Tyler Wilkinson, human resources leader
for The Bakery Cos., explained, it was important that
all associates understood the leadership team's focus
and intention. For a long time, the family business' culture was the founder's culture, emanating from Cordia
Harrington, CEO, who started the business. But as nonfamily members began taking leadership roles and the
business grew, it became important that that founder's
culture be defined and established.
"Cordia; Tom [Harrington], CFO and co-founder;
and Joe [Waters], business development officer, defined and developed our culture," Mr. Wilkinson explained. "And it came down to three letters: CMI." Those
three letters were a manifestation of the culture Ms.
Harrington lived herself: Create opportunities, Make a
difference and Impact lives.
"What we've tried to do is incorporate Cordia's core
values into our recruiting and engagement practices," he

22 Baking & Snack June 2018 /

said. "Our biggest concern was if Cordia ever left, would
that culture sustain itself? Five years ago, I would have
said no, but with the intentional emphasis on our culture, I would say that is no longer the case."
Putting structure to a founder's values helps unify
a company's workforce and bakeries with a common
goal and ensures the pursuit of that goal can outlive the
founder's tenure.
As more non-family members get involved with a family business, culture also becomes critical to ensure correct decisions are made. "In a family-owned and -operated business, when you're small, you wear 15 different
hats, and you're the one doing a lot of it," Mr. Skow said.
"You're there day-to-day. You know how things are going."
But as those day-to-day operations are handed off to
people who may not share the same last name, decisions
could be made that aren't in line with the family's values.
"That's where you start seeing that those values don't
align with ours and how they're doing things may not
have been the way you would have or wanted them to be
done," he continued.
This is where culture's impact on recruitment and
retention can come into play. Identifying a company's
values can assist in selecting the appropriate people to
fill open positions. If employees naturally share similar
ethics or have bought-in to the company culture, leadership can trust them to make the right decisions on the
plant floor.
For More Than A Bakery, Versailles, KY, the hiring
process is a culture match. Felicia Quigg, vice-president, Family Pride, More Than A Bakery, meets every
prospective employee before an offer is extended and
checks to make sure the person fits in with the culture.

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