Baking & Snack - May 2020 - 32

TIPPIN'S PIES

ately intend but one that became clear as the business grew.
"In the beginning, it didn't really matter if we broke even
because we just wanted to support our stores with Tippin's
pies," Mr. Ball said. "They had such a great and loyal following that we weren't overly concerned with making a huge
profit to start out. We really just wanted to provide that
great product for our consumers."
But business boomed, and the strategy shifted.
"We knew the more volume we could run through the
bakery, the operating efficiencies could improve and fixed
costs would go down," Mr. Ball explained. "That became our
motivation: keeping costs stabilized and driving efficiency."
At in-store bakeries such as Hen House, Tippin's turned
its focus to a zero-sum game.
"In a typical in-store bakery, pies are about 6.2% of bakery sales," Mr. Boyer said. "But at Hen House, it is north of
20% because there's a loyal following."
Additionally, Tippin's pies at a Hen House produce about a
50% gross with a ring of $10 to $15 for a 9-inch pie.
"There are very few items with that kind of ring and that
kind of gross," Mr. Boyer observed.
It all comes down to a quality product. Years ago, Tippin's
was making several other items, but it has since honed its
focus almost solely on the pies. And as the business grew, it
was time for the operation to take the next step.

Taking the leap
Sure, pies are decadent and indulgent. But the best ones
provide something extra ... comfort. That's been a driving
factor for the loyalty that follows Tippin's products wherever they go, and it's driven its growth, too.
So, it was no surprise that the bakery - whose operation still involved manually pouring pumpkin filling into
shells on a carousel oven and pushing hand-decorated pies
around on racks - needed more space that allowed the
bakery to work smarter, not harder.
"We were making all the pies we could make," Mr. Boyer
said. "We literally ran out of space to make more pies and
needed more capacity."
Just down the street from the old bakery, Tippin's moved
into a 52,000-square-foot building.
"There was a significant investment made into the business," said Jim Antrup, vice president of sales and marketing.
"That investment and the new bakery are all about making
premium, high-quality, world-class pies."
Ultimately, the upgrade was less about the increased square
footage and more about what modern technology would do for
streamlining production and making life easier for the teammates.
Top: (From left); Rita Lopez, team lead; Amber Mangiaracino, director of operations;
and Sonia Irigoyen, production supervisor, staged training on the new equipment.
Bottom: Great care is taken into making Tippin's signature dough, which is mixed 24
hours in advance.

32 Baking & Snack May 2020 / www.bakingbusiness.com


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