Tennessee Bun Company offers four in one
by Laurie Gorton
Privately held Tennessee Bun Company (TBC) exceeds $50 million annually in sales and consists of several related businesses.
After successfully operating several McDonald’s restaurant franchises in downstate Illinois, Ms. Harrington founded the company in 1997 with a hamburger bun plant at Dickson, TN, as a single-source baker for McDonald’s.
TBC became one of the first of these businesses to take on additional clients. This change, supported by McDonald’s, helped bakers fill line capacities to improve productivity and, thus, extend the cost benefits of such efficiencies to items made for the base customer, namely McDonald’s. The Dickson bakery now produces round buns, hoagies, cluster buns and double-decker buns using sponge-and-dough methods for its 3,000-lb doughs. It bakes with a conveyorized proofing and baking system.
In 1999, the company added Nashville Bun Company to handle overflow packaging needs. It now houses three production lines: English muffins, hearth buns and rolls (added in 2005) and, most recently, biscuits. Because of the flexibility of its lines, this location acts as the engine of innovation for the whole company.
Also in Nashville and founded in 2007, CornerStone Baking Company is co-located with Cold Storage of Nashville (CSN), established in 2005. The bakery produces frozen yeast-raised dough pieces, primarily for food service clients. CSN operates as a third-party refrigerated warehouse and distribution center specializing in food-grade products.