Baking & Snack - April 2020 - 33

OPERATIONS
Fireking Baking Co.

Fireking levels up with a new bakery
but keeps the commitment to a
high-quality diverse product line.
by Charlotte Atchley

F

Fireking Baking Co. has expanded far beyond founder Greg
Acerra's pet project. When the Braintree, Mass.-based bakery was bursting at the seams of its 40,000-square-foot facility, Mr. Acerra realized this business had become bigger
than himself.
"Suddenly the business had grown to a point where it's
not just me with a crazy idea of making bread for my restaurants," he said. "There are people who have committed their
careers to my company. Now it's about how do you sustain
the company and brand. Now it's about what's best for the
company and not necessarily what's best for me anymore."
When Fireking moved into its previous facility,
Mr. Acerra said that was it, the last move he would ever
have to make. But seeing the commitment some of his employees made to the business, Mr. Acerra reciprocated. In
2019, he renovated and moved into a 200,000-square-foot
facility only 500 yards from the old building.
"If you're not growing and creating more opportunities for
your bakers and keeping them inspired, they're not going to
hang around," Mr. Acerra said. "They want to grow professionally, and if I don't provide that opportunity, I would understand completely why they would leave."

Growth by staying true
While Fireking may have plenty of new space and more
brand-new equipment than it's ever had, its product line
and processes have largely remained the same. The company is still committed to premium artisan breads and rolls,
mostly produced for foodservice with some retail business.
Food distributors pick up orders five days a week. Much of
the new business has come from word-of-mouth.
"I've never had a salesperson," Mr. Acerra said proudly.
"Over the past couple of years, I had to slow it down because I couldn't produce for the new business. I made a mistake a few years ago by growing 40% in one year. Sometimes
you get overly ambitious and think you can do this, but
you can't do it very well because it's too much at one time.
Fireking Baking Co. remains committed to a diverse portfolio of artisan-style breads.
Photography by Wayne Dion

www.bakingbusiness.com / April 2020 Baking & Snack 33

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Baking & Snack - April 2020

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