Flowers, Bay State Milling prep for storm

by Eric Schroeder
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KANSAS CITY — As Hurricane Sandy approached the eastern seaboard today, several milling and baking companies were preparing for possible disruptions.

Keith Hancock, spokesperson for Thomasville, Ga.-based Flowers Foods, Inc., said the company’s teams in the region have been working around the clock to serve the markets that are being affected.

“For the safety of our employees and associates, our two bakeries in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia and Oxford) have been shut down until the storm passes, but all other bakeries are operating at this time,” Mr. Hancock said. “We are monitoring the progress of the storm and will be ready to supply the market as soon as we can safely do so.”

Meanwhile, Quincy, Mass.-based Bay State Milling Co. has closed its corporate offices and shut down operations at its Clifton, N.J., mill, said Peter Levangie, president and chief operating officer. Mr. Levangie said the Clifton mill is not taking deliveries or shipping, and Bay State will continue to evaluate the situation amid what looks to be “a big storm.” Elsewhere, the company’s Indiantown, Fla., and Mooresville, N.C., mills are running without interruption, he said.

Watson Inc., a bakery ingredients supplier, closed its West Haven, Conn., offices today, saying it hopes the storm is a “non-event” for the company’s business, but it is prepared to do what is necessary to ensure the impact is minimal.

The pending storm also was having an impact on the markets. Millfeed traders covering Northeast locations such as Upstate New York and Pennsylvania said purchasers were asking that their truckloads not be delivered until after the storm, which was expected to cause both coastal and inland flooding, damaging winds and power outages.

“Nobody wants any trucks out on the road,” a trader said.

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