Randy George, co-owner of Red Hen Baking, based in Middlesex, Vermont, says that 95% of the problems he counters at his bakery are related to refrigeration.

“We are exposing our refrigeration to the worst possible environment,” he points out.

As a recommendation to other bakeries, George highly recommends that bakery owners never buy used refrigeration because of what’s at stake in your quality control.

He also suggests a detailed system in which all maintenance is written down on a strict schedule. He uses Google Calendar.

“Remember that documentation means it actually happened,” George points out.

Efficiency and limiting downtime will always be a point to look toward when purchasing cooling systems, adds Austin Archdeacon, operations, Erika Record Baking Equipment.

“Another component to consider within the realm of refrigeration are retarder/proofers that can give your bread production a holding point, potentially allowing you and your team more manageable shift times.

Guardians of quality

Ciril Hitz, a passionate baker, author, and educator with an international reputation and over 20 years of professional baking and pastry experience, points out that as a traditionalist in the art of baking, “I hold steadfast to the belief that the standard fridge and freezer are the stalwart guardians of my bakery's storage and processing capabilities. These tried-and-true appliances have long been the backbone of countless bakeries, providing essential preservation and organization for ingredients, prepped goods, and finished products alike.”

Yet, in the ever-evolving landscape of bakery management, one cannot ignore the allure of technological advancements such as blast freezers, he points out. While initially daunting in terms of cost for a purely bakery-focused setup, the value they bring to the table becomes apparent, especially when considering the demands of a modern pastry program.

Blast freezers, with their rapid freezing capabilities, serve as a game-changer for pastry operations, extending the shelf life of delicate creations while preserving their texture, flavor, and visual appeal. This is particularly crucial in the realm of pastries, where freshness and quality are paramount, and any compromise can tarnish the reputation of the bakery, Hitz says.

While the investment in blast freezers may seem steep for a traditional bakery, the benefits that they offer in terms of product integrity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction cannot be overstated, he adds.

“By embracing this advanced equipment, bakeries with pastry programs can elevate their offerings to new heights, setting themselves apart in a crowded market and attracting discerning customers who appreciate the attention to detail and commitment to excellence,” Hitz says.

“In the delicate dance of equipment replacement, the decision to integrate blast freezers into the bakery's arsenal is not merely a matter of financial consideration but one of strategic foresight and dedication to quality. By recognizing the evolving needs of the industry and investing in the tools necessary to meet them, traditionalist bakers can honor the timeless traditions of their craft while embracing the innovations that propel them towards a future of continued success and distinction.”

Leading wholesalers in the bread category are introducing a wide range of new product innovations that are geared to the needs of today’s consumers.

Farm to Market, a leading wholesale bread bakery in Kansas City, just announced the launch of its latest product, an all-natural white sliced sandwich bread. They deliver fresh daily to neighboring Kansas cities including Olathe, Topeka, and Lawrence, as well as seasonal breads such as panettone and stolen to the Rocky Mountains region.

“Our all-natural white bread is crafted with the finest ingredients, sourced directly from local farmers. Free from artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors, this bread is not only delicious but a healthier choice,” Farm to Market shares.

True to its name, Farm to Market Bread Co. guarantees that our white bread is baked and delivered fresh daily. Each loaf is carefully prepared in our local bakery, ensuring that it arrives at the nearest grocery store with the freshness and quality customers have come to expect.

“We believe in the power of natural ingredients and traditional baking methods to create a loaf that’s not just better for you, but also flavorful,” says John Friend, president of Farm to Market Bread Co. “This is an American classic done clean and fresh. I am unaware of any grocery store in Kansas City that offers white bread baked the day before with clean and simple ingredients.”

Frozen bread distribution goes farther – to Wichita, Kansas; Little Rock, Arkansas.; and Omaha, Nebraska.

“Our frozen distribution side is expanding. That is our biggest growth area now,” said John Friend. “If you do it right, frozen makes a lot of sense.”

Renewable sources

Traulsen, a long-time innovator and premier name in refrigeration for the foodservice industry, is proud to announce achieving 100% renewable electricity consumer status throughout all facilities and operations. This achievement shows our dedication to acquiring electricity from renewable sources and serves as a significant milestone for one of Traulsen’s four key pillars of differentiation – sustainability.

Beginning with 2023, Traulsen’s electricity supply is generated 100% from renewable sources including wind, solar, and hydroelectric. With this conversion, Traulsen essentially eliminates our Scope 2 emissions.

“Sustainability is a priority for Traulsen and the entire ITW Food Equipment segment,” said Jason Janning, vice president and general manager of ITW Refrigeration North America. “We are focused on reducing Traulsen’s greenhouse gas impact and are pleased to apply ITW’s 80/20 mindset to that effort. Combined with changes to our product design and manufacturing, Traulsen is committed to an eco-friendly path in our operations, which are entirely US-based.”

Our company-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategy and target demonstrate our commitment to addressing climate change. ITW has a track record of setting and achieving meaningful Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions reduction goals, and we are thoughtfully evaluating our Scope 3 emissions to understand possible reduction pathways over time.

ITW’s GHG Emissions Reduction Target: Achieve a 50% absolute reduction of Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 2030, compared with a 2021 baseline.