Lessons learned from Papa Pita’s bold venture

by Dan Malovany
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When Papa Pita Bakery reached capacity three years ago, owner Farzad Mohebbi knew the company hit a critical crossroads that would determine the direction of the business for years to come.

Option No. 1? He could play it safe and expand the 50,000-square-foot facility located on four acres just a stone’s throw from Salt Lake City’s airport.

Option No. 2? He could place a huge bet and put it all on the line. He did the latter and did it the right way.

Today, the new 200,000-square-foot facility in West Jordon, Utah, produces a variety of flatbreads, tortillas, bagels, buns and premium sandwich bread, and it has the capacity and the versatility to meet anything the market can envision for years to come.

When investing in the ballpark of $50 million, a family-owned bakery needs to keep every potentially foreseeable — and unforeseeable — option open and demand attention to every detail. In dealing with suppliers, the company negotiated and even haggled to make sure that it got the biggest bang for the buck.

At Baking Expo this year, equipment suppliers not only need to seek out the biggest players in the industry, but they also need to see who will be the next Papa Pita who will continue to be a part of the future of this vibrant industry.

Check out Baking & Snack’s August issue on BakingBusiness.com for more about Papa Pita’s bold venture.

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