During the past year, New Horizons Baking Co. kept its eyes on the future, opening its third bakery in Toledo, Ohio, with a new English muffin line that produces 2,000 dozen pieces an hour. Overall, the company’s seven English muffin lines — four others in Norwalk, Ohio, and two in Fremont, Ind. — can comfortably crank out 20 million products a week. The company also operates two high-speed bun lines.

“We didn’t stop growing through it all,” Trina Bediako, chief executive officer for the Norwalk-based company, told Baking & Snack for its September issue. “We were dealing with the pandemic, and we continued our plan to add to Toledo. At some point, we asked, ‘Should we be doing this?’ Well, heck yeah, we should be doing it.”

Today, that perseverance has paid off. The 61,000-square-foot Toledo facility is outfitted with enough infrastructure for bulk ingredients, chilled water, electricity, packaging capacity and more to support up to three additional production lines.

Mike Porter, president and chief operating officer, calls the Toledo operation “our flex plant” for several reasons. First, it eliminates the ebbs and flows that come from customer demand and seasonal fluctuations at the Norwalk and Fremont bakeries. Designed for additional lines, the new bakery also provides a pathway for growth.

“It allows for better stability, planning and predictability,” he explained. “Having this line here in Toledo allows us to stabilize the workflow in those plants while allowing for proper preventive maintenance and sanitation on a weekly basis.”

For this baking company, the focus is on creating its new horizons going forward.