Baking & Snack - July 2024 - 15

Carolina Foods
OPERATIONS
Carolina Foods charted its course to become one of
the most respected companies in the baking
industry. Automation was the path forward.
by Charlotte Atchley
D
Dan Myers, chief executive officer of Carolina Foods,
Pineville, NC, describes the sweet goods manufacturer
as the " 90-year-old company you've never heard
of. " Quietly and steadily growing since it was founded
in 1934, Carolina Foods was acquired by Falfurrias
Capital Partners in 2021. With the support of private
equity, the baking company is ready to go to the next
level and with a little more fanfare than in the past.
In May, Carolina Foods celebrated its new facility
and 90 years of being in business with a grand opening
event that included representatives from Falfurrias,
county government, members of the press and, of
course, the company's employees. The 428,000-squarefoot
bakery is state-of-the-art, designed to deliver
products with the longest shelf life and the highest,
most consistent quality.
" We are attracting customers, so we have designed
this facility to be able to handle the flexibility of their
needs and requests, " Myers said.
With a next-level bakery, this company is ready to
take the next step on the road to success.
Building on history
Vernon Scarborough started Carolina Foods in 1934,
making sandwiches and baked goods in the South End
neighborhood of Charlotte, NC. After World War II,
Scarborough expanded the product portfolio to include
yeast-raised donuts and pies. With a focus on
quality and customer service, Carolina Foods' sweet
goods business became so successful that the company
dropped its sandwich business in 1992 to focus solely
on sweet goods. Reformulation for a longer shelf life
allowed the company to also expand into new channels.
Its Duchess brand can now be found in grocery,
convenience, value, foodservice and club channels.
Carolina Foods also produces private label items and
co-manufactures for select customers.
" With a fresh product, speed to market is critical, "
Myers said. " A longer shelf life with the same quality
at the end of that shelf life opened up new markets for
Carolina Foods. The sweet goods market really exploded
after that, and we were able to be a leader in
that space. "
In 2021, the Scarborough family sold Carolina
Foods to private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners.
Vernon Scarborough's son Paul Scarborough was CEO
at the time of Falfurrias Capital Partners' acquisition.
He noted that the sale to private equity would allow
Carolina Foods to achieve significant growth.
" This partnership will give us the financial resources
and management expertise to take Carolina Foods to
another level, " he said at the time of the acquisition.
" The company's 110,000-square-foot facility in South
End was operating at capacity, which was holding back
growth. It was clear a significant capital investment
would be needed in order for the company to grow. "
With the Scarborough family as minority owners in
the business, Myers was brought in as CEO. The first
order of business was formalizing Carolina Foods' vision,
strategy and mission. The vision: to be one of the
most respected companies in the industry and community
while enriching the lives of team members and
stakeholders.
" The history of Carolina Foods is quality and service
to customers, " Myers explained. " We added new
thoughts to that with this guiding document to take us
into the future. We needed a culture that was suited to
rapid growth. "
According to Myers, everything Carolina Foods
does should contribute to one of four pillars of its vision:
becoming a more valued partner with key customers,
keeping products and people safe, pursuing
opportunities for excellence, and innovating quality
products. Stating this vision so explicitly allows the
www.bakingbusiness.com / July 2024 Baking & Snack 15
(From left to right) Sonya
Yalla, director of QA
and R&D; Kent Byrom,
vice president of R&D/
technical services;
Rebecca Babyak,
director of continuous
improvement; Alberto
Tizon, director of
production; Greg Lewis,
head of engineering;
and Tim Harris, senior
reliability manager,
ensure customers are
well taken care of by
Carolina Foods.
Photography by snapWerx LLC,
Jim Graziano
http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - July 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - July 2024

Baking & Snack - July 2024 - Intro
Baking & Snack - July 2024 - 1
Baking & Snack - July 2024 - 2
Baking & Snack - July 2024 - 3
Baking & Snack - July 2024 - 4
Baking & Snack - July 2024 - 5
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https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-november-2021
https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-october-2021
https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-september-2021
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https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-july-2021
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https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2004_02_01
https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2003_12_01
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