When it comes to new product development, Leo Desrosiers has one word to describe Turano Baking.

“I would say we’re ‘fearless’ when stepping into new areas,” noted the vice-president of operations, southern region. “If there is a new concept, we have the ability to beat people to the market.”

Part of the reason goes back to the business’ roots in 1962 when Mariano Turano founded the company.

Joe Turano, president of Turano  Baking.

“We started as a small, Chicagoland bakery in the past,” said Joe Turano, president. “It taught us our principles for working with customers — to work with them closely on a one-on-one basis. Collaborative effort is a unique value at our bakery.”

Often, new product development occurs at the Berwyn, Ill., operation, which has the capabilities to test formulas and develop the characteristics of products using smaller, 400-lb doughs. Once the customer signs off on the product, the other bakeries take over and scale it up to their high-speed operation, according to Jack Mitchell, plant manager at the Orlando, Fla., bakery.

Throughout its history, Turano Baking has shown it is open to investing in not only new products but also new categories. The Italian, specialty and hearth bread business now also produces conventional bread and buns for national players in the food service industry.

“This company is continually evolving,” Mr. Mitchell said. “It’s not set in one standard product zone. It’s wide open to the newest customer needs.”