The Middleby Bakery Group is celebrating the grand opening of its $2.3 million Bakery Innovation Center (BIC) located at the company’s headquarters in Plano on April 11.

The 30,000 square-foot facility will be home to a new series of production lines including a 17-foot-wide tunnel oven and a new Emico high-capacity makeup line, available for customers to test run on the latest Middleby equipment. In addition, two Auto-Bake lines will be available to produce a variety of bakery products such as pan bread, special buns, baguettes, artisan bread, muffins, cakes and cookies. The facility is the first of its kind for bread, buns and sweet goods and offers opportunities for bakers to test ideas in a protected environment.

“You can bake some in your oven and say it looks good, but how do you take that to the next level, to large scale production?” said Len Kilby, president of global sales.

Mr. Kilby explained that the new facility allows bakers to identify product processing techniques before investing in a new production line. He described the facility as an extended research and development center for bakers around the world.

“This provides the opportunity for more bakers to innovate, which allows them to do more in marketing, product development and other areas to grow their business,” Mr. Kilby said.

In addition to early stage testing on new technology, customers are able to use the BIC for refining new product formulations on the equipment. The BIC also was designed to include a meeting area and customer host section that includes a simulated French bakery cafe for refreshments. The training area is large enough for a complete training school for up to 15 people.

The opening ceremony and open house celebration will feature live baking demonstrations using the various new makeup equipment and industrial ovens producing bread, buns and sweet goods. Keynote speakers will include David Gibbs, president of Yum! Brands, who will discuss the future of the restaurant industry from a global perspective, as well as other prominent industrial baking and political speakers.

For more information on the event, contact Mr. Kilby at