Grupo Bimbo’s Wholesome Harvest Baking extends its Virginia facility

Wholesome Harvest Baking is investing over $22m to extend artisanal bread production at its Roanoke, Virginia, factory. Pic: ©iStock/blixstudio

The Mexican bread giant’s US subsidiary, Wholesome Harvest Baking, is investing $22.1m in its Roanoke, Virginia, factory to install a new production line for its artisanal bread range.

Aligned with the expansion, the baker, which began operating in the state in 1996, will retrain its 324 employees to operate the new equipment.

According to Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support this retraining through its state-funded Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP).

VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change to support employee training activities.

Wholly-owned subsidiary

Started more than 100 years ago, Wholesome Harvest Baking produces frozen and par-baked goods, including a range of artisanal, sourdough and sandwich breads, buns, croissants, scones and biscuits for the retail and in-store bakery sector.

Grupo Bimbo acquired the company in 2014 and renamed it Wholesome Harvest Baking.

Today, Wholesome Harvest operates seven bakeries in North America and employs around 1,400 workers.

Fall in peso value

In February, Grupo Bimbo posted a 14.1% rise in net income to MXN5.9bn ($298m) for 2016, although it also reported pressure on underlying sales in North America, where its business benefited from the fall in the value of the Mexican peso.

Net sales in peso terms grew 16.2%, while dollar sales declined 1.1%. Volumes remained unchanged, said the company.

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