Milling & Baking News -- July 3, 2018 - 11
New facility bittersweet
investment for Miller Baking
MILWAUKEE - Until the end of
2017, Miller Baking Co. was operating two very different business models: Pretzilla's national wholesale distribution and the fresh route directstore-delivery business. Its original
building on 5th Street in downtown
Milwaukee was still producing 175
stock-keeping units (s.k.u.s) while
Pretzilla was baking on Steven Road.
Operating two different business
models and managing Pretzilla's
growth became too cumbersome, said
Brian Miller, president, Miller Baking.
With a management team to help
him carry the load and a crew that
could support the company's revenue growth, Mr. Miller took the next
step: a difficult decision to end the
fresh route business his father started. He made the emotional decision
in December 2017 and renovated the
5th Street bakery so it could produce
Pretzilla bites and twists.
"The decision to end it was purely
economical," he said. "Ninety per
cent of our revenue had become
Pretzilla, and we needed additional
capacity. It was an emotional decision because of the connectivity it
had to my family history."
The building was gutted, and construction began on Jan. 2. The old
building needed a lot of work and
renovating from floor to ceiling allowed Miller Baking Co. to get the
building in compliance with all the
MILLER BAKING CO.
latest regulations for food and worker safety. Both bakeries are S.Q.F.
Level 2 (based on the Safe Quality
Food Institute code).
"So much about what S.Q.F. or
Global Food Safety Initiative is about
is not only the paperwork but the infrastructure and maintaining it so
you can better prevent foodborne illnesses," Mr. Miller said.
Construction on the 5th Street
bakery was finished March 5, and
production on the one-and-a-half
lines, which include Koenig makeup
Dakota Specialty Milling invests
in Fargo facility expansion
FARGO, N.D. - Dakota Specialty
Milling Co., one of the largest suppliers of custom-milled ingredients
and whole grain blends in North
America, recently celebrated an expansion dedication ceremony at its
facility in Fargo. The $15 million expansion included new equipment,
renovations and a land purchase, all
of which will allow the company to
add up to 30 new jobs.
"The positive business climate and
strong state support, including the
programs within the North Dakota
Department of Commerce, played a
significant role in our decision to expand in Fargo," said Peter Matthaei,
chief executive officer of Dakota Specialty Milling.
Founded in 1969, Dakota Specialty
Milling operates five locations in Fargo and one in St. Louis. With the latest
bakingbusiness.com / world-grain.com
expansion in Fargo, Dakota Specialty
Milling hopes to double or possibly
triple production capacity at the plant.
Dakota Specialty Milling said its
location in Fargo provides the company "with direct access to the many
grains grown in the
"This close proximity
has allowed us to build
with our suppliers,
which ensures the raw
materials we buy meet
our premium standards," the company said. "From specialty product development to custom milling to product delivery, each service we provide
has been designed to meet every one
of our customers' production, food
safety and supply chain requirements.
There's a reason the word 'specialty' is
equipment, began the following
week. The bakery also uses Revent
ovens, a change from the Sveba
Dahlen at the Steven Road facility to
appease the company's baker.
"Our baker grew up with Revent
ovens, so that's why we use them,"
said Mike Walz, chief operating officer, Miller Baking. "When you find
a good baker, you give him what he
Even with the recent investment in
this facility, Mr. Miller already predicts that the company will outgrow
it quickly. The next step is to move
all production under one roof. This
old building isn't going anywhere,
though; it's been a part of the company for too long.
"I see this as a really great test facility down the road," he said. "We've
got some exciting ideas for other line
extensions. Instead of trying to work
in testing around our production
schedule, I'd like to be able to keep
continuous R.&D., and this is a great
building to do that."
For now, the immediate game focuses on expansion of the Pretzilla brand.
It may have national distribution, but
there is still much of the country that is
unfamiliar with the product.
"We're strong in the Midwest and
other major metros, but we're still
not available in many parts of the
country," Mr. Miller said. Someday,
he hopes Pretzilla will be a household name. MBN
in our name. We truly provide grains
for all reasons."
Dakota Specialty Milling's investment in the Fargo facility was
welcomed by representatives in the
"We're thrilled that Dakota Specialty Milling is making such a significant
investment in our state," said Governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota.
"Attracting capital and
talent to strengthen
North Dakota communities is a priority for
our administration, and
that's exactly what this
expansion will do."
John Schneider, director of the Economic Development
and Finance Division within the
North Dakota Department of Commerce, added, "This value-added agriculture project reflects our strong
business climate and the ongoing
economic development that sets
North Dakota apart." MBN
Milling & Baking News
July 3, 2018 / 11