Baking & Snack - August 2018 - 33
Dulcesol Group's new state-of-the-art bun line demonstrates the road to success
requires passion - and many different paths - to achieve its ultimate goals.
by Dan Malovany
In the Valencia region of Spain, everything seems as if it
were kissed by the sun. That's no surprise. Located south
of Barcelona along the Mediterranean coast, the sun
shines 2,700 hours a year in this subtropical haven, which
is renowned for its namesake oranges that are recognized
by aficionados as some of the most flavorful in the world.
Perhaps appropriately, Valencia is also home to one
of the Iberian peninsula's largest baking companies so
aptly named Dulcesol, which translates into "sweet sun."
Heading the family-owned company is Rafael Juan,
whose parents Antonio and Victoria founded the business in the 1950s making authentic local cakes and selling these culturally significant delicacies to small shops
In fact, Mr. Juan recalled, one of his mother's traditional Valencian-style cakes called Glorias became so
popular that it was the only item the local bakery had
the capacity to produce in the 1970s. Eventually, it put
Dulcesol on the national stage.
Nearly a half-century later, his mother's recipes
still influence the now prolific product line, which includes more than 400 items and 2,000 SKUs, including
Glorias. Mr. Juan acknowledged that those family formulas are not only Dulcesol's legacy but also its secret
weapon. "All of the time, my mother was taking care
of the quality, and the recipes were very important," he
recalled. "My motto is, 'Always take care of the recipes.'
We believe it's about the best quality at the best price."
Headquartered in the city of Gandia in Valencia,
Dulcesol Group - the company's formal name - is one
of Spain's Top 5 baking companies with more than 2,200
employees, annual sales of nearly €325 million ($375
million) and distribution in nearly 50 countries. The
company operates three bakeries - one in Gandia and
nearby Villalonga in Vallencia, and another in Algeria -
that house 38 production lines with an annual capacity
of 160,000 tonnes (350 million lb).
To put that volume in perspective, its bakeries
cranked out 927 million of its top-selling magdalenas,
literally "muffins" or delicate Spanish sponge cakes last
year. And that's just one variety. Throughout the years,
the company has ventured into almost every type of
sweet treat, including donuts, cookies, croissants, sweet
brioche, napoleons, filled pastries and children's cakes,
just to name a few.
Many of these snacks sell for €1. That's consistent with
Dulcesol's mission to offer the highest quality at the most
affordable price, according to Mr. Juan. Those items are
shipped to 60,000 supermarkets, convenience stores, gas
stations and other retail distribution points throughout
Spain and internationally as well.
Tonnes of buns
Simply put, Mr. Juan heads an organization that just
can't keep still. To expand its portfolio and become a
full-service bakery about 25 years ago, Dulcesol initially
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