Fred Springer (left), president of Burford Corp., with Mark Salman, president of Middleby at interpack 2017

DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — At interpack, being held May 4-10, two industry veterans, Burford Corp. and Middleby Bakery Group, showcased their combined capabilities for the first time since Middleby’s recent acquisition of Burford.

“It was our destiny,” said Mark Salman, president, Middleby. “We have often done business with Burford to fill in gaps in our offerings.”

Many of Middleby’s thermal projects involve Burford’s seeding, water splitting and other capabilities prior to baking as well as packaging.

“Either down the line or before the oven, Burford has a lot of opportunities to enhance a Middleby installation and even make it better,” said Fred Springer, president, Burford Corp.

Previous projects and relationships between the two companies’ sales forces laid the foundation for a seamless partnership.

“For me, it’s important to look at where we can grow our business, where the other Middleby brands can grow their business and where we can help one another grow,” Mr. Springer explained.

Under the Middleby umbrella lies a wealth of brand recognition and industry knowledge that Mr. Salman and Mr. Springer agreed will only make the group — and all its brands — stronger. With baking equipment in nearly every third restaurant in the world, Middleby plans to fast-track its penetration into the wholesale baking sector.

“We have a lot to learn from Burford in industrial bakery,” said Mr. Salman, who is a former baker himself. “We can now serve the industry even better in terms of quality, service and complete solutions.”

At interpack, Burford displayed its own booth in Hall 1, No. E04, and it also had its brand present at the Middleby booth No. C40 in Hall 4.

In total, Middleby has 70 brands in the bakery and food production industries, including Stewart Systems, Auto-Bake, Baker Thermal Solutions and Spooner Vicars.

“We never dilute a brand inside the Middleby name,” Mr. Salman said. “The culture of Middleby is that of accelerating the success of our brands. Innovation doesn’t come out of being comfortable; for Burford, we can bring them bigger mass in terms of global accessibility and distribution.”

Synergies exist not only in the sales area but also in the engineering departments, Mr. Springer observed. “There’s a lot of product development we want to do, and we just didn’t have the time, resources or space to do it,” he said. 

At Middleby’s Bakery Innovation Center (BIC) that recently opened in Plano, Texas, Burford will house equipment for product testing and customer demonstrations along with other Middleby equipment.

“It will be a great opportunity for all the engineers to work on Burford equipment and work with the dough and develop solutions,” Mr. Salman said. “We have the means to develop technology, test it and show it to customers much faster.”

At the BIC opening, Burford showcased its latest seeding technology for visitors.

“The BIC offers a space close to our offices where our engineers can easily test prototypes in a bakery setting,” Mr. Springer said.

Burford will maintain its headquarters in Maysville, Okla., and Mr. Springer will continue as the company president.

Middleby is a publicly traded company based in Elgin, Ill. Its commercial equipment side does business with 97 out of the top 100 food service chains in the United States and internationally.