In the Valencia region of Spain, everything seems if it were kissed by the sun. Perhaps appropriately, Valencia is also home to one of the Iberian peninsula’s largest baking companies so aptly named Dulcesol, which translates into “sweet sun.”
Heading the company is Rafael Juan, whose family started the business in the 1950s making authentic local cakes. Today, his mother’s recipes still influence Dulcesol’s products, which include more than 400 items and 2,000 stock-keeping units. Mr. Juan heads an organization that just can’t keep still.
To become a full-service bakery, Dulcesol initially rolled out packaged toasted rolls popular in Spain. It then segued into packaged sandwich bread and buns for retail. Most recently, it ventured into the quick-serve restaurant arena after installing a new high-speed line that tripled the bakery’s bun capacity.
The group also operates divisions that produce baby food, bioactive smoothies and organic soups. While its bakery and sweet goods items remain the heart of the business, Mr. Juan recognizes the path to sustainable growth is rarely a straight line.
“All of this gives us an opportunity to introduce ourselves to any kind of customer who can sell our products,” Mr. Juan told Baking & Snack for its August issue.
Such widespread diversification didn’t come without significant investment, said Mr. Juan, who has served as chief executive officer since 2007. During the past five years, Dulcesol has poured $192 million into increasing production and distribution capacity, incorporating the latest in cutting-edge equipment, upgrading technology and undertaking R.&D. projects to reformulate its products. That commitment to growth and excellence is how Dulcesol became one of Spain’s Top 5 baking companies with about $375 million in annual sales and distribution in nearly 50 countries.