Baking & Snack - July 2020 - 25

OPERATIONS
Aladdin Bakers

Aladdin Bakers continually invests in automation to take
what's uniquely 'Baked in Brooklyn' across the nation.
by Dan Malovany

A

Aladdin Bakers always makes it look so easy when it
comes to rolling out new products. In fact, the Brooklyn,
NY-based company has earned a fabled reputation for
firsts. As the company website says, "We can follow the
industry, but we prefer to lead."
The bakery initially introduced rack oven-baked,
steamed, soft bagels in the 1980s - an innovation on
the New York-style version - way before most everyone
in the nation knew what they were. It did it again a few
years later by taking a tortilla-based product and making changes, creating what is known today as a sandwich
wrap. Within a few years, the company then introduced
to the market a pre-grilled wrap.
And then Aladdin Bakers pushed out paninis before that trend took the foodservice industry by storm.
Joseph Ayoub, the company's owner, recalled how he
found a company that did grilled vegetables, applied the
technology to baked goods and taught local businesses
how to press a panini using one of its flatbreads.
"We've been trendsetters in the industry forever," Mr.
Ayoub said. "And every few years, we've come up with a
new product line."
Today, Aladdin Bakers' portfolio includes more than
100 different SKUs ranging from pocket pita, flat pita,
bagels, wraps and paninis to dozens of varieties of handmade Old World artisan breads. Additionally, its highly
automated baked snacks division produces flatbread
crisps, pita chips, matzo snacks, cornbread chips and
even flavored crunchy breadsticks, which are under private label and the Baked in Brooklyn brand.
"We call them 'snack sticks' not bread sticks,"
Mr. Ayoub said. "They come in sesame, honey mustard,
smoky barbecue and dill, among others. We made them
a fun, interesting product."
To meet demand and expand its presence in the retail
channel, Aladdin Bakers has steadily invested in automation. In addition to three tortilla lines, the bakery added
a Lawrence tortilla and wrap line five years ago that can
turn out 20,000 pieces an hour, ranging from 6-, 8- and
10-inch, hot-press tortillas to 12-inch "premiyumm"
wraps that come in 14 naturally flavored varieties.

Earlier this year, Aladdin Bakers ratcheted up its
operation when it installed a new fully automated
Rademaker sheeting line. That system can produce a
wide variety of products, including up to 500,000 lbs a
week of branded, private label and co-manufactured
baked snacks and crackers.
"Our diversification over the years has led to our ability to serve our customers however the market changes,"
noted Theresa Watkinson, chief operating officer. "We're
constantly improving our operations, and it's times like
these that we are very grateful for what we have done
over the years."
Additionally, the bakery bolstered its packaging capabilities with vertical form/fill/seal (VFFS) bagging for its
array of snacks and horizontal overwrapping for a host
of baked goods. The timing couldn't have been more
prescient, especially when coronavirus (COVID-19)
shut down many parts of Aladdin Bakers' surrounding
core market in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and
Pennsylvania earlier this year.
"That's really been a godsend considering what is going on with the pandemic," Ms. Watkinson explained.
"It was already in place. If we had to run around when
all of this was happening and try to get packaging, I
don't think it would have happened, especially being
in Brooklyn."
During the past few months, Aladdin Bakers persevered through the worst of the crisis and supplied bread
and other products to local schools and grocers and its
national private label accounts. As the metropolitan area
opens up, Ms. Watkinson pointed out, foodservice outlets now need individually wrapped baked goods to sell
or put out as a part of a breadbasket at lunch or dinner.
Boosting packaging will also become a major part of
its retail initiative with its baked snacks, which have up
to a 12-month code date, along with its wraps and paninis that offer several months of shelf life. Already, the
company's retail products can be found in the Big Apple
as well as in supermarkets, corner delis and gourmet
shops in the region. Now, the bakery is positioned to
take another step as it looks to the future.

Aladdin Bakers
produces baked
snacks and crackers
under the Baked in
Brooklyn brand and for
private label accounts
across the nation.
Photos by Aladdin Bakers

www.bakingbusiness.com / July 2020 Baking & Snack 25


http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - July 2020

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Baking & Snack - July 2020 - 1
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