Baking & Snack - May 2021 - 30

ANA & LA BREA BAKERY

reviewed daily in the sensory room and evaluated for
taste, appearance and how well they adhere to product
specifications.
All of this effort has led to dramatic improvements in
key performance indicators (KPIs).
" First pass quality, customer complaints and foreign
material complaints have all improved over industry leading numbers year over year since 2019, " Mr. Garcia said.
The BRC-AA certified bakery has a robust sanitation program. In addition, operators are responsible for
cleaning their own production lines. This autonomous
sanitation mentality empowers employees to take ownership of their equipment.
" If we pass the buck to someone else maybe the quality of that work isn't going to be as good as someone who
is invested in that line running how it should and performing how it should, " Mr. Garcia explained.

A culture of teamwork

Top: The Take & Bake
product line saw huge
growth during the
pandemic, resulting
in a fully automated
packaging line in the
Van Nuys facility.
Bottom: Despite the
automated facility, La
Brea Bakery holds
true to its artisan
roots by refusing
to compromise its
mother starter or
the time its products
need to achieve their
signature flavor.

" When we shifted our focus to start everything we
do with people and food safety first, our numbers really
started to flourish as well, " he said. " We hit numbers we
had not seen before. Every change we make starts with
the people and food safety and the results come with
that. Everything else falls in line. "
In prioritizing safety, La Brea Bakery adheres to what
Mr. Garcia calls 6S principles, or 5S + Safety, adding
Safety as the sixth S in the 5S principles of Sort, Set in
order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.
" Six S not only helps the bakery promote efficient
working environments but also establishes a sustainable
culture of safety, " he said.
Many programs now ensure both human and food
safety is guarded. FSQA Manager Prakash Patel noted
that the company developed a toolkit that allows all
employees to access the most recent human and food
safety standards as well as the most updated ANA policies. Every employee must complete 12 hours of training each year across multiple disciplines: environmental,
health, safety and security, food safety and quality, and
human resources and people. For quality assurance, random samples of product from every line and shift are

30 Baking & Snack May 2021 / www.bakingbusiness.com

To enact this shift toward safety and continuous improvement, the leadership team at Van Nuys has gotten
creative. For training, the team read two books - Who
Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson and The
Energy Bus by Jon Gordon - and discussed how those
books could be helpful to the current and future vision
of the bakery.
" Many employees to this day acknowledge how these
books have helped them and that they've shared these
books with their families and friends, " Mr. Garcia said.
" My whole family has also read both books. "
For the new equipment, La Brea Bakery also appointed subject matter experts for each equipment investment
to support its startup.
" Everything we do we strive to keep it simple, and that
includes new equipment training, which really starts
with good planning and early input from the floor level
process owners from our operators, maintenance and
sanitation, " Mr. Garcia said.
The leadership team also approached safety by leading by example through a Super Support program and
the Alchemy Coach Observations platform. As a part of
the Super Support program, managers and supervisors
at Van Nuys have all worked in frontline positions, walking in their employees' shoes. Supervisors and every
member of the leadership team have performed each job
in the bakery, and that has fostered connection between
employees and management.
" We truly get to understand the challenges employees
go through on a daily basis, " Mr. Garcia said. " You would
be surprised once employees see you doing the job, the
connection takes place and ideas and challenges are
shared, and opportunities start to blossom. "
Managers and supervisors also use Alchemy Coach's


http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - May 2021

Baking & Snack - May 2021 - Intro
Baking & Snack - May 2021 - 1
Baking & Snack - May 2021 - 2
Baking & Snack - May 2021 - 3
Baking & Snack - May 2021 - 4
Baking & Snack - May 2021 - 5
Baking & Snack - May 2021 - 6
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