Livonia, Michigan, USA-based Awrey’s Bakery, a producer of premium quality frozen baked goods and thaw-and-serve foodservice items that run the gamut from Danish pastries and muffins to croissants, cakes, biscuits and brownies, unveiled a new gluten-free baking room during a press conference on February 19. The occasion was also utilized to also show off additional production space that is in the final throes of USDA approval to be used for meat pie and deli tray manufacturing.
Top executives Ron Beebe and James McColgan discussed how Awrey’s Bakery has grown in excess of expectations when they acquired its assets a year ago. At the time of its sale, Awrey’s already had laid off its entire staff and was preparing to auction off physical assets, including baking equipment, stand mixers, flour hoppers and cooling racks. Beebe and McColgan partnered together, forming Minnie Marie Bakers, Inc. and purchasing the Awrey’s brand name.
During a “State of the Company” address barely a year after the acquisition, CEO McColgan was pleased to announce that Awrey’s had not only hired back almost 50 of the laid off workers, but also just about doubled staff to 94. Furthermore, its private label products are now offered at more than 300 stores and retailers throughout the United States, including Walmart, Kroger, Spartan Foods, Hiller’s Markets, and Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace.
“I grew up on Awrey’s cakes and pastries, so to be able to revive this brand and achieve the success we have within one year is a great feeling,” said McColgan. “The efforts of the entire organization, from our front office to the factory, have been nothing short of phenomenal. Be it through traditional favorites like our chocolate ripple cakes, date nut cookies, coffee cake or our new gluten-free products, we look forward to keeping the brand a household name for many years to come.”
Awrey’s, which has been kosher “Orthodox Union” certified since 1992, also announced the launch of close to 40 gluten-free products, including cooking ingredients such as flour and brownie mix, pasta, bread, buns, muffins and dinner rolls.
The company, following its purchase of Atkins Elegant Desserts, also markets a wide range of fully baked frozen cheesecakes and decorated layer cakes to the foodservice and retail bakery markets.
Officially certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), Awrey’s products made in this baking room will not contain the protein complex found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale. This particular zone has been designed so that it can operate without fear of contamination from other products being made in the same facility. It is gluten-free to 10 parts per million or less.
“So many people have either opted to go gluten-free or need to do so due to health reasons,” said Chairman Beebe. “Having healthy products they can enjoy is a priority for our company.”