ST. LOUIS — Companion Baking Co. announced that it is expanding its bread pudding operation that will be offered in five more grocery chains, primarily in the Midwest.
The company, a custom manufacturer in that bakes specialty breads for retail, wholesale and restaurant clients, has sold the bread pudding in its two cafes and at two chains in the St. Louis area for a couple of years.
“This year was the first year that we took it into our frozen program and started taking it out to regional and national retailers,” said Josh Allen, founder and owner of Companion.
The company sells the bread pudding frozen, but customers can decide whether to sell it at ambient temperature, out of a cooler or frozen.
“It depends on where they think it best serves their customers,” Mr. Allen said.
The company offers several flavors, including Original, Chocolate Mocha, Maple Pecan, Banana Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice. The process for making the bread puddings is a fairly labor-intensive process.
“The custard and the making of the bread pudding itself has been mainly hand work, which is a big part of what we do anyway, so we were equipped to handle that,” Mr. Allen said. “And then we’re looking at equipment to handle additional automation.”
The chains that have picked up one or more flavors include Fresh Thyme Markets, Strack & Van Til Food Markets, Pete’s Market, Cosentino’s Markets and Price Choppers.
Companion, founded in 1993, sells its bread to more than 400 restaurants, grocery stores and businesses around the country.