WICHITA, KAS. — Bimbo Bakeries USA plans to cease production at its plant in Wichita early next year, shifting production to other more modern facilities, including a bakery that opened in Topeka, Kas., in 2011. The closing will affect more than 100 employees at the plant, which once was known as the Rainbo Bakery.
B.B.U. said the Wichita facility will shut down on Feb. 24. The company acquired the plant as part of its acquisition of the North American Fresh Bakery business of Sara Lee Corp. that closed in November 2011. The plant makes bread and buns under the Rainbo, Ironkids and Grant’s Farm brands, according to the 2013 Directory & Buyers Guide published by Sosland Publishing Co.
“This was a difficult decision because of the highly capable team of associates at the Wichita bakery,” said Didier Moleres, regional vice-president of operations for B.B.U.’s Central region. “However, after an extensive assessment, we concluded that the age of the equipment and building and the outdated level of technology make the bakery unable to compete effectively in the marketplace going forward.”
B.B.U. said the changes will not impact its customer service or the availability of its fresh-baked products, which will continue to be distributed across the state.
It is the third baking plant closing announced by Horsham, Pa.-based B.B.U. this year. In September, B.B.U. announced plans to shutter its baking plant in Elk Grove, Calif., and shift production to other facilities by Nov. 8. The plant made bread products and tortillas under brand names such as Entenmann, EarthGrains, Oroweat, Thomas and Tia Rosa.In August, B.B.U. said it would close its baking plant in Easton, Pa., by the end of the year. The plant, which employs 200, makes hamburger and hot dog buns.