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Gonnella Baking Co. announced the opening of a research center within its Schaumburg, Illinois, facility. This state-of-the-art facility allows the company to effectively address its commitment to continuously improving processes. Additionally, the research center will enhance Gonnella’s capabilities to develop new products, allowing the bakery to anticipate client needs and respond rapidly to consumer driven changes in the marketplace.
“We are a leader in research and development for frozen dough and baked items,” says Gonnella’s vice president of sales and marketing Tom Marcucci. “Gonnella recognizes that innovation drives business forward, so we listen and react to our customers’ ideas for growth.”
The nearly 2,000-square-foot research center boasts state-of-the-art ovens, proof boxes, mixers, storage for dry ingredients, a refrigerator, and freezer, in addition to a variety of workspaces. These components are designed to mimic the environment customers experience at the store level. It will serve as an instructional center for employees and a training facility for customers and bakery technicians alike.
“We strive to continuously improve the quality of our bread and dough items in order to effectively respond to the demands of both our existing and potential customers,” says Ruth Meyer, Gonnella’s vice president of research and development.
By simulating a variety of production environments in a controlled setting, the research center provides the Gonnella team with insight on processes, formulations, and the feasibility of new items. It also helps Gonnella fine-tune product usage instructions and handling directions on site. During any stage of the development process, customers are invited to work side-by-side with the Gonnella research and development group. This team is comprised of a food scientist, certified research chef, retail baker, food technician, and regulatory and quality experts. This multidisciplinary group presents customers with tailored product development innovation opportunities along with product troubleshooting and optimization.
“Our product development process guides the R&D team from the beginning concept to market introduction, ensuring a consistent, quality product every step of the way,” Meyer says.
For more than 125 years, Gonnella Baking Co. has maintained a commitment to superior quality bakery products combined with a high standard of customer service. Still family owned and operated, the company is a national distributer of bread and dough products. In addition to delivering bread daily to retailers and restaurants from Green Bay to Indianapolis, Gonnella is a coast-to-coast provider of frozen dough, par-baked products and fully baked frozen items.
The company produces more than four million pounds of product weekly in four modern facilities. Its Aurora and Schaumburg, Illinois, plants along with its newest facility in Hazle Township, Pennsylvania, have been recognized by BRC Global Standards and AIB International for quality in food safety.
Gonnella serves retailers across the country including in-store bakeries, grocers, delis, and convenience stores as well as the foodservice industry including restaurants, quick serves, healthcare and educational facilities, and concessions. The company also provides contract baking, private label products and custom baking solutions—working in collaboration with its clients to bring their ideas, opportunities, and concepts to fruition.