Baking & Snack - May 2020 - 34

TIPPIN'S PIES

A project like this brownfield location - which had previously operated as a cookie plant and, before that, a direct
mail outfit - is a lot to take on, and with consulting from
The Ensol Group, Mr. Boyer learned fast.
"I'd never done a building project before," Mr. Boyer
recalled. "In fact, no one here had. We had a trusted and
valued partner with The Ensol Group and Jim Kline [president]. He helped us select the equipment and worked with
us through the whole exercise. Jim's fingerprint is all over
this bakery."
Amber Mangiaracino, director of operations, joined the
company at an interesting spot between the start of construction and moving day. In addition to learning a new
job, Ms. Mangiaracino found herself wearing a new "project
manager" hat as well.
"I sort of stepped into an onsite project manager role
and found myself making decisions based on discussions
that took place before I had started with the company. I was
coming in at the end and trying to play catch-up, and that
was a little tough," she said. "But I'm not easily intimidated."

A staged transition
The work happened to finish just in time for fourth quarter ...
the busiest time of year in a pie factory. When the project completed in September 2019 after about four years of planning
Automating the creaming process with robots makes life a lot easier for teammates
who used to do the process manually.

PIECES OF TIPPIN'S COME TOGETHER UNDER ONE ROOF
At the original Tippin's Pie Pantry &
Restaurant, pies were the signature
product. But the chain was also
known for its soups, too. After the
restaurants closed, these Tippin's
items were available for purchase
at Hen House supermarkets in the
Kansas City metro area.
When Four B. Corp. - which
owns Hen House - purchased
Tippin's out of Chapter 7
bankruptcy in 2004, the focus at the
time was mainly on retaining the
pies exclusively for Hen House.
David Ball, Four B's chief
executive officer, knew he gained
the 20,000-square-foot pie facility
with the purchase, but there
was something extra he wasn't
expecting: a USDA-certified protein
facility in Kansas City, Mo., where

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

Tippin's soups, sauces and other
food items were manufactured.
"Ever since I saw that place
for the first time, I had a vision of
having all of Tippin's under one
roof," Mr. Ball said. "I've been
working strategically over the years
to put the pieces of that puzzle
together."
When the 52,000-square-foot
facility - Tippin's current home -
came available about 10 years ago,
Mr. Ball scooped it up and moved the
"kitchen" side of the business there.
Plans to bring the bakery into the
building began about five years ago.
"We were maxed out at the other
facility, and it would've taken a lot
of money to renovate and achieve
SQF specifications," he recalled
of the former bakery plant. "We

needed that SQF certification to get
out there and sell to big customers."
Today, Mr. Ball's vision has come
to fruition, with the USDA- and SQF
Quality- and SQF Food Safety-rated
kitchen operating under the same
roof as the bakery, which expects
its own SQF certifications to come
once it has been in operation for a
full 90 days.
Having the two operations
together creates big opportunities
on the savory side of the pie
business with products like quiche
and pot pie.
"We make shells that can be
used for those items," said Jim
Antrup, Tippin's vice president of
sales and marketing. "Having the
kitchen opens up opportunities with
finished savory products as well."


http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - May 2020

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