Mile Hi’s connections and transitions

by Laurie Gorton
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Fresh potatoes rooted Mile Hi Foods’ business with McDonald’s Corp. during the 1950s. Seeing the opportunity offered by the quickly growing fast food restaurant chain, the Denver-based distributor quickly shifted gears and followed its customer into the future. In 1984, the fast food giant approached the company to establish a 40,000-sq-ft bakery at the Mile Hi distribution center.

For the first two years, the bakery ran under a contract with McCaffery Baking, a local Denver company. Mile Hi then shifted the facility’s management to East Balt, Inc., a Chicago-based company operating many bun bakeries in the US and overseas.

In late 2012, as the Denver bakery outgrew its capacity, things changed at East Balt, too. It was purchased by One Equity Partners, New York. Mile Hi then decided to run the bakery itself, and to make the transition easier, it hired the former East Balt managers who had been running its plant all along.

The new bakery decision was among the first involving Kristy Taddonio Mullins, who took over the company presidency from her father, Tony Taddonio, in 2013. He now serves as CEO and noted that Kristy brings a fresh spirit and modern approach to the business. Ms. Taddonio Mullins represents the family’s fourth generation to lead Mile Hi.

“Planning for the future is a big priority with Kristy,” Mr. Taddonio observed. She brought in John Borowski, a 19-year veteran at East Balt, as vice-president, corporate services and bakery, Mile Hi Foods, for his financial and administrative expertise. “He also served as a ‘sounding board’ for the expansion,” Mr. Taddonio added.

Today, Mile Hi consists of three divisions: Mile Hi Bakery, a high-volume bun bakery producing buns in many styles; Mile Hi Foods, a distributor serving McDonald’s restaurants in the Rocky Mountain, Southwest and Northwest regions; and Mile Hi Specialty Foods, a separate distributor independently supplying restaurants in 16 states including the Rocky Mountain region and Texas. The Mile Hi campus also houses the Taddonio Family Foundation focused on serving the needs of children.

 

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