Gonnella Baking’s transformation of its Aurora, IL, fresh bakery reflects the best of greenfield and brownfield projects all in one. During the past two years, the company expanded its operation to build a high-volume bread and bun line with the latest bells and whistles in programmable controls. At the same time, it remodeled the existing 70-year-old bakery and added hearth baking capacity.
However, it’s not often that companies have the opportunity to go “green” and “brown” at the same time, noted Michael Redick, vice-president, special operations.
“A combination of brownfield and greenfield is where you have a manufacturing presence and are looking to consolidate, upgrade or technologically improve what you do,” he explained. “That’s what happened here. We were looking at adding capacity and consolidating manufacturing facilities. The physical building here was not capable of handling expansion to a second line, so we added a greenfield piece to the back.”
A greenfield facility, he observed, should not be for current needs but for future expansion of operation to add capacity, create new products or streamline distribution costs — maybe all of the above.
“A greenfield plant is great if you are going into a new area where you never established a manufacturing presence in the past,” Redick said. “If Gonnella were to expand its operations on the West Coast, for instance, that would likely be a greenfield plant.”