Three-packs of graham crackers are horizontally wrapped with cold-seal film and shipped to school foodservice.
In its new home, More Than A Bakery married the longevity of Richmond’s history with the innovation of this new endeavor to create something truly special in a new environment.
“We consider ourselves to be a 100-year-old start-up,” Mr. Quigg said. “While we have the strength, stability, industry knowledge and reputation of a century-old company, our attitude and excitement level reflected that of a start-up. This is more akin to a Silicon Valley tech company than an industrial facility.”
An open office structure inside what’s called the Family Space fosters communication and breaks down perceived delineations between the “manufacturing” and “corporate” aspects of a baking company. No office is permanent; instead, each person is assigned a “common cart” for personal belongings, and every few months office assignments change. People only need to take their common cart to the next location. And work space is not limited to assigned offices, either. This open environment allows people to do business in common areas or in the “cove,” a quiet corner where people can nestle into reclining pods while taking in a view of the hills.
Oftentimes, Mr. Quigg can be found working in the most open spaces.
On the post-bake side, Family Members can talk about the finished product with those from pre-bake via a window, where they can pass samples as necessary.
“I tend to grab my laptop and sit out in the break area to work,” he said. “I can be productive while I interact with people. The whole point is to spend time and enjoy the people you’re working with. It’s good for business to mix things up and get the relationships percolating.”
Gray Construction, the Lexington, Ky., firm hired for the design-build project, understood the company’s emphasis on a shared experience inside this space. Because the bakery’s strict food safety practices make it cumbersome to leave and re-enter the building during a shift, the Family Space was designed to bring a bit of the outside in.
Mr. Quigg took inspiration from the Clif Bar Baking Company of Twin Falls and its use of biophilia, the concept of bringing elements of nature to an indoor setting. The entire west-facing wall in the Family Space is glass, so everyone can take in the majestic Kentucky landscape while working, eating lunch, having a company-wide “Family Meeting” or blowing off steam at the ping-pong table.
“We never wanted offices with windows,” Mr. Quigg said. “Windows are not for one person in an office; windows are to share.”
More Than A Bakery was designed to function in a similar fashion to its organizational structure, which isn’t so much hierarchical but more reminiscent of the rings inside a tree trunk. At the center are the cookies and crackers, and the people encircle them based on physical proximity to the products. As the “rings” move outward, people are identified not only by their closeness to the cookies but also by the level of support they provide the ring inside.
Under this mindset, every aspect of this bakery ultimately revolves around the food.