Baking & Snack - July 2018 - 46


"With ingredient advancements,
we're able to improve on the texture
and eating quality of gluten-free
bread as well as implement other
similarities to traditional breads."
Jesse Weilert, Canyon Bakehouse

manual case packing and palletizing - had to be relocated
to accommodate the growth of the semi-automated baking
Eventually, the bakery's growth was outpacing the campus
development, and the company was faced with some decisions.
"We could have continued growing [in Loveland]," Mr. Skow recalled. "We contemplated getting a fifth building and having bakery operations in two locations, but we decided to take a longerterm approach and move to what we called the 'one roof' model."

Moving at the speed of change
At first, the company scoped out opportunities for an existing
facility, but nothing completely fit the bill. Just as Canyon was
about to settle on a custom-build project, a vacant 165,000-sqft facility in nearby Johnstown became available. Just 4 years
old, the concrete building sat vacant almost as long as it had
been in use, and the 200- x 800-ft layout was almost perfectly
oriented for a bakery operation.
"We had known about this building because it had been
up for lease for a while, but we just couldn't imagine moving
into that much space," said Mr. Skow, who might be apt to
say the company had a history of not planning far enough in
advance. But then again, the surge of the gluten-free market
came at lighting speed. "So, how far in advance do you plan?"
he wondered. "It's like when you first get married, do you buy
a 6-bedroom house because you think you'll have a lot of
kids, or do you buy a few homes along the way?"
The company took the leap of faith; Canyon scooped up the
facility and, on par with the past decade's velocity, set an aggressive timeline, for which the unanticipated brownfield brought
a bit of serendipity. With the design-build process out of the
picture, the company was able to retrofit the new building and
start up the new automated bread line in about 7 months.
"Finding the brownfield site was probably the Lord's provision because we needed to get into the facility and start baking a lot faster than a greenfield would have allowed us to do,"
Mr. Skow declared. This project helped us fast-forward the
whole process."
Once everything was up and running in Johnstown, Canyon
shut down the existing line in Loveland and relocated it to the
new building, a move that took only one week. "We shut the
line down on a Friday; it was dismantled, moved and hooked
back up, and we started up again on Monday of the following
week," Mr. Skow recalled.
A move this fast can be attributed to a few things. For starters, the gluten-free market took off at an unprecedented rate;
Canyon had little choice but to move with it, so the company
was accustomed to acting fast. After all, in its first eight years of
business, Canyon products are already sold in all 50 states and
in some retailers outside US borders. It's a trait that positions
Similar to traditional bread, gluten-free dough spends time in the proofer before
heading to the oven.

46 Baking & Snack July 2018 /

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