Mile Hi opens new bakery in Denver

by Laurie Gorton
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DENVER — Kristy Taddonio Mullins, president of Mile Hi Foods, welcomed visitors to the company’s new bakery during grand opening ceremonies Jan. 28.

Mile Hi has aggressive plans for the bakery: new products and additional territorial expansion.

“Our vision is to be a long-term supplier of quality bakery items and to develop long-term, successful business partnerships by providing a modern approach to customized business solutions,” Ms. Taddonio Mullins said.

The new bakery occupies a 128,000-square-foot building on the company’s 5-acre campus of warehouse and distribution facilities. It houses a single computer-integrated bun line that boosts capacity by 80% over the previous bakery. It runs 5,400 dozen hamburger buns an hour, and the business expects to produce more than 28 million dozen buns annually.

Plus, there’s still plenty of room to add two more processing lines.

“We’re going wherever our customers drive us,” said Tony Taddonio, chief executive officer of Mile Hi. “We want to be a complete supplier, not just limited to the bun styles made at the older plant. And with all the extra space, we could add English muffins and an artisan roll line.”

As now set up, Mile Hi Bakery makes plain and seeded buns, double-cut seeded buns, whole grain buns, yellow pub buns, hoagie buns and burger bundles. Bun diameters range from 35/8 to 4½ inches. Mile Hi ships the products frozen to the big names in the quick-service restaurant world: the bakery’s original client, McDonald’s, as well as Wendy’s, Red Robin, Good Times, Arctic Circle and more.

The go-ahead decision was made in June 2012. Then the company initiated the bidding process with a deadline of Feb. 1, 2013. Construction and renovation got under way a month before that.

“We had a clear plan to start operations one year later in January 2014,” Mr. Taddonio said. “And we achieved it.

“This is a neat story because it brings us full circle from the initial investment in Stewart Systems technology in the first bakery to the same company’s involvement in the new bakery.”

Mile Hi managers said the new bakery was designed, laid out and built to allow it to qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

Mile Hi’s food processing operations hold SQF Level 3 certification for food safety, achieved in 2012 and renewed the following year at the same level.

“We’re going for ISO 14001 this year,” said John Borowski, vice-president of corporate services and bakery at Mile Hi Foods.
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