Baking & Snack - April 2020 - 103

LOVE
OPERATIONS
Site Selection

at first site

Bakers need to weigh the pros and cons before they
commit to adding a new plant in an urban or rural area.

by Dan Malovany

L

Larry Marcucci, chief executive officer of Chicago-based
Alpha Baking Co., is well aware of the advantages and
disadvantages of running a bakery in urban and rural areas. This bread, buns and sweet goods producer
operates three plants in the Windy City; one in Grand
Rapids, Mich.; and the others in more rural Manitowoc,
Wis.; and LaPorte, Ind.
"In Chicago, labor is available," Mr. Marcucci said.
"It's much easier than the rural areas. The infrastructure
is better. We have a bit of trouble getting a high-speed
internet connection in some of our outlying areas,
whereas in Chicago you have great internet, which is
important because everything has to be run through a
computer these days."
And if Alpha Baking were to add another bakery, several factors would become top of mind.
"Good, clean, fresh water is going to become more and
more of an issue," he added. "After we looked at transportation connections and where the plant is located
relative to our customer base, we'd then get into the nuts
and bolts of whether the area is pro-business and wheth-

er the community is hoping we bring our type of operation to their area. Or does it have a lot of regulations or
walls built up that make it tough to do business?"
Those are some of the many details that bakers should
determine before they choose a site location.
"You have to consider all of the factors that drive
smart site selection decisions - supply chain, labor,
infrastructure, taxes, regulatory and community fit,"
explained Brandon Talbert, managing director, Austin
Consulting. "Every project is different, so we start by
working with the company to define the project requirements and location criteria, both initial and future."
Perhaps the greatest dilemma involves weighing
the primary investment along with potential tax incentives or other financial assistance against ongoing
expenses and other extended mitigating factors.
"When it comes to the initial costs versus the long
term, the latter always wins in the long run," noted
Courtney Dunbar, who leads site selection and economic development for the Global Facilities Group with
Burns & McDonnell.

Bakeries must often
weigh the benefits of
building a new plant in a
rural or urban area.
┬ęDedMityay - stock.adobe.com

www.bakingbusiness.com / April 2020 Baking & Snack 103

B&S April book.indb 103

4/6/2020 11:18:25 AM


http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - April 2020

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