The staff at Cheryl’s takes sanitation and maintenance very seriously. They see their products as a promise to their customers, a promise to deliver great taste and beautiful gifts produced with attention to food safety and quality. To keep up that promise, the company enlists a team of seven sanitors to clean the plant and its equipment every night as a third shift after the baking has been done. Sanitation isn’t isolated to just the third shift, though. Two sanitation employees also are on the plant floor during each production shift.

“There is also clean-up time throughout the day, between each break,” said David Adell, director of operations. The company preaches a culture of cleanliness with reminders on the walls that “Downtime is cleaning time.”

Care of the machines goes beyond keeping them clean but also keeping them running. Cheryl’s prides itself on how well and for how long some of their equipment has been working and credits thorough maintenance checks. Each one of the operators runs through a pre-check list three times a day: once at the start, once at lunch and once at the end of the day. The operators ensure the machine is running soundly. In addition to this daily maintenance check, two employees do preventative maintenance, such as keeping bearings greased and chains lubricated, on each machine. And every year, during mid-year and end-of-year inventories, the bakery shuts down for a week, and certain pieces of equipment are chosen to be torn down and rebuilt with as many new parts as possible. “I think that’s why we’ve had such good luck with our equipment,” Mr. Adell said. “We have one mixer we bought used 22 years ago, and it’s still working great.”