Turano Baking: Storm track

by Laurie Gorton
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Turano Baking Co.'s accepting the offer to build in Central Florida also meant adapting the new bakery to handle weather of the most severe kind: high winds, heavy rainstorms and hurricanes. Contingency planning was an essential part of the new plant process because, as Southeast Region Operations Director Leo Desrosiers observed, the company has no other soft bun manufacturing facility in the region. “We can’t count on supply from other locations should we have problems here,” he said. “We have to be able to get back into operation within 24 hours.”

“Neither wind, rain, sleet nor snow will keep the bread man from delivering to our customers,” quipped Giancarlo Turano, executive vice-president of Turano Baking Co., Berwyn, IL.

While Turano Florida Bun has yet to experience a hurricane, such eventualities prompted several unusual building design features and equipment choices. The facility was constructed to endure major winds, and all rooftop components are wind- and weather-protected at hurricane ratings. The building was not designated as an official hurricane shelter, but it can withstand such conditions. “Should it be necessary, we can house our people here as long as we have running water and power,” Mr. Desrosiers said.

Backing up the bakery are six natural-gas-powered electrical generators. “Diesel fuel is cheaper,” Mr. Kozloski said, “but it tends not to be available during hurricane emergencies.” Natural gas comes in by pipeline. Its delivery does not require that trucks and drivers be available or that roads be passable, and it is the fuel used by the oven. In other words, without natural gas, the bakery could not operate, no matter how much electricity it generates on its own.

A quick-connect system was installed for potable water delivery should supply become an issue during and after storms. A redundant boiler system assures adequate hot water for operations, and a glycol bypass set-up was also installed for mixer and freezer coolants.

The bakery’s oversized ingredient warehouse can hold a 30-day supply of raw materials. “It is kept fully stocked, and we are good to go should weather cause road issues,” explained Production Manager Jack Mitchell.

The 24-hour up-and-running rule applies to ingredient suppliers as well. “We hold our suppliers to their contingency plans,” Mr. Mitchell said. “Our freezer can handle 72 to 75 hours of contingency service.”

Turano managers learned from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina that quick-service restaurants (QSRs) want to be serviced during such emergencies. Speaking from his previous experience managing bakeries in the Southeast, Mr. Desrosiers explained that QSRs are typically the first food service businesses to get up after big storms.

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…And Now, Soft Buns
Dan Malovany: Perfect Moves in a Perfect Storm

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