Baking & Snack - July 2018 - 54
By investing a bit in inventory, the bakery essentially buys time.
"We pull inventory, and we can kind of flex in and out," Mr. Skow
said. "We can still somewhat produce to order, but in conjunction
with our inventories."
Planning for the future
The brownfield facility provided more space than the company had originally planned for, but it also came equipped with
growth capabilities. "We can see needing the extra space and
using it for years to come," Mr. Skow said.
Growth opportunities include adding a third line and fully automating the bagel line, which has an IJ White spiral cooling tower and Stay Fresh packaging, to accommodate additional niche.
"Another capital expansion would be to install an inline
freezer on that line," Mr. Skow said. "Then the case packing can
happen inline, and it can be palletized here. Then only pallets
would leave here and go to storage." Unless, of course, the company expands the building to bring frozen storage over from
across the street.
"People often ask us how we have accomplished all this," he
said. "I can tell you that we are thankful; we thank the Lord for
our success, but we didn't start out this way. We started with one
oven, and we grew quickly. The key to our success has been managing our growth and managing a fast-growing business. You're
constantly learning, prioritizing and understanding where you
can give. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."
The key, according to Mr. Skow, is focus.
Canyon Bakehouse has come a long way in a relatively short
time, but the company has no disillusions about its purpose.
This was never about capitalizing on a hot trend; it was - and
will always be - about giving bread back to people who had to
give it up, whether by their own choice or the doctor's.
"Everything we do is about providing solutions for people
who are trying to take gluten out of their diet," said Kevin
Brouillette, senior vice-president, sales and marketing. "The
love of bread is very important to us. People give it up for a reason, and whatever that reason, they're taking something out of
their diet, and that's a big deal. Being able to love bread again is
an emotional thing."
Canyon prides itself on the relationship its consumers through
outlets like social media and even grassroots efforts such as consumer testimonials at tradeshows and public events. With a signature entrepreneurial spirit, this bakery won't stop until it's on
every supermarket shelf in America. And the bonus? It's in pantries of people who also have the choice to eat gluten.
"As far as I'm concerned, our key demographic is anyone
who eats bread," Mr. Skow said. "Some people say gluten-free
is like bread but isn't bread. But that's not true for us. Our bread
Above: Bagels receive modified atmosphere packaging for extended shelf life.
Below: The semi-automated line from Canyon's previous facility was broken down, moved
and reassembled at the new plant in less than a week.
54 Baking & Snack July 2018 / www.bakingandsnack.com