Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 23

OPERATIONS
JTM Foods
by Michelle Smith
In the world of handheld snack pies, there
are the casual dabblers and the true believers.
Count JTM Foods, the largest maker
of handheld pies in the world producing
more than 350 million pies annually, in
the latter category.
" We're pie evangelists, " said Monty
Pooley, JTM president and chief executive
officer. " We're expanding our portfolio,
but at the end of the day, we are all about
handheld snack pies. "
JTM Foods has tripled its production
since Pooley joined the Erie, Pa., company
in 2017. The team realized the need to expand
production a few years ago.
" At the time, our plant was running
24/6 nonstop, " said Joe Amboyer, senior
vice president of operations. " We were actually
running some seven-day challenges,
and we paid double time or whatever we
needed to keep going. "
The company started looking at options
for another facility, one that was
closer to the western and southern parts
of the United States to improve logistics.
After checking out 10 sites in six states,
the company chose Wichita, Kan., in the
spring of 2022 and didn't waste any time
getting started.
" We were actually purchasing equipment
before we knew where home was
going to be because of the timeline, "
Amboyer explained while sitting in the
new 195,000-square-foot facility. " We
broke ground in August 2022 here and
in September of 2023, we were producing.
Thirteen months of turnaround after
COVID issues with manufacturing supplies
and timelines, it was a huge team effort
across the board. "
A logical choice
Founded in 1986, JTM Foods started
making crispy rice treats in 1993 and putting
their 4-oz pies in a box in 1999, which
helped differentiate the company through
better merchandising and product protection.
When Pooley joined the company, he
brought a new focus to JTM.
" Monty came on board and gave us
a clear direction, and he made some decisions
on the products that we should
work on and the products we shouldn't, "
Amboyer added. " That was a huge turning
point for us to get the right direction on
what we wanted to be. "
When it became clear that JTM was maxing
out its handheld pie capacity, Pooley
said it limited the team's ability to talk to
customers about growth opportunities.
" I can't have a meaningful, genuine conversation
with a large customer who wants
to take advantage of a category if I don't have
the capacity to handle it, " he explained. " We
needed the capacity for existing demand,
but more importantly, we needed that capacity
so that when we sit with customers,
we can be authentic and genuine and
say we can support the type of growth you
could potentially deliver from the category.
Without this we would very much be boxed
in with our existing customers. "
JTM went into the planning process for
Wichita wanting at least as much space as
it has in Erie, which is an 80,000-squarefoot
manufacturing plant housing six
production lines and a 60,000-squarefoot
warehouse the company rents. But
JTM wanted to keep it all under one roof
to avoid moving materials and finished
goods between two facilities as it must in
Erie. The company worked closely with
Cornejo & Sons Inc., the developer that
built the Wichita plant.
" We had several of us in conference
rooms constantly drawing, putting designs
together, " Amboyer said. " We actually
took the building team here in Wichita
and flew them out to Erie to help them
understand the difference between building
a warehouse and a food manufacturing
facility, the different clean things we
have to have, the codes for the drains. "
JTM initially looked for an existing facilwww.bakingbusiness.com
/ June 2024 Baking & Snack 23
The JTM Foods'
195,000-square-foot
plant in Wichita,
Kan., was up and
running just 13
months after breaking
ground on the
new building. The
company's products
are sold under the
JJ's Bakery brand,
among others.
T&J Studios Inc.
http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - June 2024

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

Baking & Snack - June 2024 - Intro
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 1
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 2
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 3
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 4
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 5
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 6
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 7
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 8
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 9
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 10
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 11
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 12
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 13
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 14
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 15
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 16
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 17
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 18
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 19
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 20
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 21
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 22
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 23
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 24
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 25
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 26
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 27
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 28
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 29
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 30
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 31
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Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 33
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 34
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 35
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 36
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Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 49
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 50
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 51
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Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 55
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 56
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 57
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 58
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Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 60
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 61
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 62
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 63
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https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2003_11_01
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com