ETOBICOKE, ONT. — Weston Foods has invested approximately C$25 million ($19.4 million) to add new capabilities and improve productivity in its bakery network.
“As we continue to add capacity and new capabilities to our network, we are always looking to enhance the taste and experience of our baked goods, while simultaneously further improving our ability to provide the consistency our customers rely on us for,” said Luc Mongeau, president of Weston Foods. “These investments deliver on all fronts.”
The investment included the installation last fall of a new pressed tortilla line at the company’s 82,000-square-foot bread and rolls baking plant in Calgary. The new high-speed line produces traditional pressed flour tortillas in a variety of sizes and includes a number of vision systems that ensure consistent shape, color and size, according to Weston. Weston, which makes Casa Mendosa and Wonder tortillas as well as many other private label and foodservice brands, said tortillas are one of the fastest growing bakery segments.
Weston also has upgraded one of the three cupcake lines at its 48,500-square-foot Manchester, NH-based cupcake baking plant. The line, which originally was installed in 2013, now runs 30% faster with improved accuracy and less waste, the company said.
“Consumers eat with their eyes, especially with special occasion cupcakes,” Mr. Mongeau said. “Each delicious cake has to taste fantastic, of course, but also look appealing — the right amount of perfectly placed icing and sprinkles, properly displayed in the container. With the enhancements made at our Manchester bakery, we’re able to improve that important selection experience and deliver it consistently to our retail customers.”
Lastly, Weston said it has added a new mini ice cream cone production line at its novelty ice cream cone facility in Green Bay, Wis. The new high-speed line is capable of producing 60-millimeter mini sugar cones in a variety of flavors and features a new oven for forming and baking as well as a new packaging area for smaller cones.
“Unlike other categories, our customers use our cones as a key ingredient when making their frozen dessert treats,” Mr. Mongeau said. “With this new line, we’ve been able to expand our size variety in answer to a consumer trend for portion control while enjoying an indulgent treat. The new line allows us to create mini-cones with high-speed uniformity, as the consistency of size, taste, texture and quality are essential for our customers to be able to operate efficiently.”
Etobicoke-based Weston Foods bakes bread, rolls, donuts, pies, cakes, bagels, tortillas, cookies, crackers and more. The company’s brands include Ace Bakery, Wonder, Country Harvest, D’Italiano, Casa Mendosa, Dave’s Killer Bread and Gadoua. The company also supplies ice cream cones and sandwich wafers to the dairy industry and produces US Girl Scout Cookies.