DENVER — With a new bakery in its plans, Mile Hi found incentives from the local utility and the city’s enterprise zone programs. It also worked hard to set up the 128,000-square-foot bakery to be the first bread or bun facility to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.
The company’s commitment to sustainability gave it an opening with the local electric utility, Xcel Energy. The Denver utility has an interruptible service option credit (ISOC) program.
“Essentially, the ISOC pays you for running your own generator,” said Tony Taddonio, chief executive officer of the Denver-based food service distributor that operates Mile Hi Bakery. “The Denver area can experience power supply problems in the summer. Our 4-megawatt generator gets us off the grid during such periods, and the credit paid for the generator.”
The utility also arranged for an energy consultation, paid for by another credit.
“Our ratings came in at the highest level of achievement,” said Paul Chan, bakery director.
Mr. Taddonio added, “That audit and the LEED Gold certification process taught us a lot.”
Because the Mile Hi campus is located within a City of Denver enterprise zone, the company qualified for assistance from the Denver Economic Development Corp.
“We earned a variety of property tax credits, employment credits and credits for rehabilitating an existing vacant building,” Mr. Taddonio said.
There were also payroll tax credits for new job creation. John Borowski, vice-president, corporate services and bakery, Mile Hi Foods, summarized these incentives: “For every added job, we received an employee credit and health and medical credits. And we get a credit for being an agricultural/food processing operation. It all adds up to about $1,200 in credits for every new job. And that really helps with the ROI.”
The new bakery runs 5,400 dozen hamburger buns an hour, and the business expects to produce more than 28 million dozen buns annually.
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,” Mr. Borowski said.
The new bakery replaces an older facility established by Mile Hi Foods in 1984.