Bridor's Success Inspired by a Simple "Passion for Baking," in Business Review Canada
APR 11, 2012 - 14:18 ET
SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - April 11, 2012) - In a report in Business Review Canada, Pierre Martella explains why Bridor is the number one choice of bakers and diners.
As a leading baker of artisan breads, croissants and pastries, Bridor knows firsthand the weight carried by a simple, freshly baked croissant. Case in point: management recently outlined a new goal asking all sales representatives to start every morning meeting with a basket of the comforting treat shared with their first customer.
"We strongly believe in our product," says Pierre Martella, Vice President of Sales and Marketing in Canada, "and we just want to share it."
History of Bridor
Originally founded as the industrial division of Groupe Le Duff, a company operating a group of international restaurants, Bridor has honed its specialty in baking French-style breads, baked goods and Viennese pastries and now operates five plants -- three in Canada, one in the USA and one in France.
Bridor has a history of setting industry standards, creating the first production line for par-baked, frozen breads and is now investing nearly $10 million to become the leading producer in frozen ready-to-bake, pre-egg-washed Viennese pastries in North America.
Old World Tradition
Although Mr. Le Duff's first bakery was opened on Canadian soil while he attended the University of Sherbrooke, preserving the historic traditions of French bakers and artisans provided a strong foundation for his original vision. A dual nationality of sorts is promoted, combining recipes and techniques passed down between generations of French chefs to uniquely meet the tastes of the modern North American consumer. This old world passion remains at the heart of the company's day-to-day procedures.
"We keep doing things the same way, in the same fashion, with the same ingredients, with the same passion as an artisan bakery," says Martella. "The only thing that changed is that we have larger buckets to put flour in, larger blades for the mixers and larger ovens."
Focus on Simplicity
The fact that these products please consumers today in the same way they have for decades means Bridor's bakers are onto something.
Although the plants are involved in food processing and distribution, bakers are present in every sector and department. "We have bakers and pastry chefs in operations, in R&D, in marketing, and in sales. That's the major difference from most of our competitors who have become more oriented towards engineers and food scientists," says Martella.
Bakers offer first-hand experience and opinions from test kitchen to production to sales, and every employee at Bridor is encouraged to be well acquainted with the products -- not a hard feat to manage at a company that specializes in baked goods.
When asked how the management team keeps employee morale high at Bridor, Martella states simply, "We feed them with bread." Laughing, he explains they do have a profitability sharing program with monetary incentives, but really, the impact of freshly baked croissants every morning cannot be understated.
"We are packed to the roofs. All the time, we're baking bread," says Martella. Employees are not only encouraged to try all Bridor's products but also to approach potential customers with freshly baked breads or pastries.
Flexibly Meeting Distributor Needs
Hands-on engagement with the products is coupled with Bridor's lean management technique. Representatives on the road communicate with the corporate office on a regular basis and departments work effectively towards outlined goals.
Martella points to the fact that this type of management increases flexibly to meet the needs of large-scale corporate buyers. "We have to work with companies that have a much larger structure and we have to adapt ourselves constantly," says Martella.
Bridor works with large distributors, grocery chains, restaurants and hotels worldwide. Although larger buyers, restaurant chains for example, prefer a more homogenous product with consistent color, shape and texture, Martella notes this goes against the artisanal bakers' roots, where each batch is unique in its own right. One plant is devoted to baking regular type of bread, but on the whole, "We're keeping the integrity of the product," he says.
Bridor steadfastly maintains their attitude that quality baked goods cannot be rushed and their personalized touch is always evident. "We tell people 'we are your baker' and it's the truth," he says.
Plans for Expansion
Firmly established as an industry leader in Canada, Bridor is now looking to conquer the sector in the U.S. Already producing croissants and bread for retail chains, hotels and restaurants in the North-East, Bridor is off to a successful start.
While maintaining an edge in quality for the existing product line, Bridor is considering expanding into complementary gourmet bakery products.
Continuing long-practiced baking traditions and adopting a flexible, no-fuss attitude means Bridor will continue to grow as a company and baked goods manufacturer. "We want to keep it simple. It's not rocket science," Martella says. "We simply make good bread."
As long as consumers crave the freshly baked artisanal bread and sweet pastries created by Bridor's bakers, the company will continue to produce these mouth-watering delicacies. "One thing is for sure: we will always be in the pleasure-of-the-table business," says Martella. "It's our passion."
Read the full article here: http://www.businessreviewcanada.ca/reports/bridor
Bridor is a leading baker of artisan breads, croissants and pastries and was originally founded as the industrial division of Groupe Le Duff, a company operating a group of international restaurants. Products are made in France and North America and distributed to restaurants, grocery stores and retail chains around the world.
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