Skinner Baking doing it ‘a little different’

by Dan Malovany
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Audie Keaton recently described Skinner Baking as “a little different from a lot of companies.”

A few years ago, the leaders of this Omaha, Neb.-based sweet goods producer sat down to determine how the business should define success.

“Obviously, you have to make money to succeed,” said Mr. Keaton, president and chief executive. “But for us, the day we employ 1,000 families, that’s the day we celebrate that milestone at our Omaha and Paris bakeries.”

Currently, Skinner Baking is more than halfway to its goal. In 2012, it purchased the shuttered Sara Lee bakery in Paris, Texas. The plant’s closing was a devastating loss, resulting in 300 lost jobs. Renovated, refurbished, reequipped and reopened in June 2013, the bakery now employs nearly 140 people, and the new owner pledges to ultimately hire nearly 400 — likely more — during the next five years. That’s good news for an area where unemployment has hovered between 8% and 10% since 2010. That’s how a bakery is important not only to the industry but also to the community it serves.

Check out Baking & Snack’s April issue for the latest on Skinner Baking.

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