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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - February 6, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 14 - THE LETHBRIDGE HERAtO - Tvesdoy, February *, 1�T3 City bakeries cooked up $2,650,000 sales in 1972 By JIM MAYBIE of The Herald The city's dozen bake shops in 1972 had sales in excess of $2,050,000; had capital investment of more than $1 million: employed 116 persons full-tune and 28 part-time; had a payroll of about $875,000; paid city taxes, business tax and licence fees of more than $12,000; purchased about $300,000 worth of local supplies and services, excluding municipal services; and occupied 20,400 square feet of plant area. Following is a rundown on local bakeries. McGAVJN TOASTMASTER LIMITED, 1502 3rd Ave. S., (P.O. Box 1027), is the city's largest bread bakery. The local operation was established in 1918 and the present plant of 11,000 square feet was built in 1946. Capital investment in the Lethbridge operation is $670,000. The plant produces bread only, under the McGavin's and ToastMaster labels as well as wrapping bread for many supermarket chain stores. Fen Tunbridge, manager of the plant, since 1957. said the staff of 50 full-time employees and five part-time employees has an annual payroll in excess of $500,000, including employee benefits. The company would not divulge production figures, amounts of materials used or gross sales. DISTRIBUTION Product is distributed in an area from Vulcan on the north to the U.S. border and from Saskatchewan on the east to Creston, B.C. About 25 per cent of production is sold in the city. Distribution is by the 21 company-owned trucks and six franchised truck operators. The firm's floiir comes from MetVcine Hat, yeast from Calgary, lard from Calgary and LAKEVIEW BAKERY (LETHBRIDGE) LTD., 2622 10th Ave. S., was expected to have retail and wholesale sales in 1972 in the $200,000-$250,000 bracket. Employing 12 persons full-time and six persons part-lime, the firm has an annual payroll in the $75,000-$ 100,000 bracket. The'f is a capital investment of sr.o,000. Lakeview retails its bread ancM bakery products over a counter at the plant and wholesales to city stores and stores in V a u x h a 11, Taber, Picture Butte, Iron Springs, Coaldale, Noblefovd and Cardston. While some manufacturing materials come from Calgary, the firm was expected to spend about $46,000 in Lethbridge for supplies and services other than municipal services. The firm rents 2,200 square feet of space and paid $445 in city taxes in 1972. SUPPLY HOUSE Company president Peter de Groot would like to see a bakery supply house locate in Lethbridge and a bakery small o q u i p mcnt manufacturer or sales and service depot. Mr. de Groot has been in the bakery business 30 years, since Edmonton, milk powder from Eastern Canada and sugar is purchased locally. The company spends an estimated $40,-000 for local supplies and services, including about $,'15,000 for local sugar. City taxes in 1972 were an additional $6,000, city utilities $5,000 aind natural gas $2,500. HISTORY McGavin ToastMaster Limited and its predecessors have been in business in Western Canada for more than 60 years. More than 1,300 employees operating from 12 bakeries and 18 distribution centres in the four western provinces supply about one-third of all the commercially-baked bread in Western Canada as well as large quantities of other bakery products. McGavin Toast.Masler Limited was formed in .196.1 following a. merger of the McGavin group of companies, Canadian Bakeries Limited and the Winnipeg and Fort William operations of Canada Bread Limited. In 1967 McGavin ToastMaster purchased the western division of General Bakeries Limited with four plants. The majority ownership of McGavin ToastMaster was purchased in 1981 by Ogilvie Flour Mills Company Limited of Montreal and Manle Leaf Mills Limited of Toronto. FACILITIES From its head office in Vancouver, McGavin ToastMaster operates four bakeries and 12 distribution centres in B.C.; two bakeries and three distribution centres in Saskatchewan; and one bakery and one distribution centre in Manitoba. Alberta operations include bakeries at Lethbridge, Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie; distribution centres at Medicine Hat and Red Deer. Two semi-trailers a week drop supplies for the plants between Vancouver and Winnipeg. the age of 15. He got his start in Holland, moved to Canada in 1954. He started with Penny's Bakery in Lethbridge, joined the Dominion Stores bakery staff and in 1961. with a caoital of $100, started Lakeview Bakery. The business has experienced steady growth since the time Mia. de Groot. was the only baker and had one old truck for deliveries. Lakeview now turns out almost one million loaves of bread a year and each week goes through 136 sacks of flour, 700 pounds of sugar and 400 pounds of yeast. V. W. WOOLWORTH AND CO. LTD. BAKERY, HOI 4th Ave. S., is managed by Mrs. Helen Orser. Operating out of 1,000 square feot in the Woolworth-store, it employs six persons full time and one person part time; payroll is in the $35,000-$45,000 bracket; capital investment is estimated at $25,000; bread, buns, cookies, cakes, pies and pastries are retailed over the store counter and sold through the luncheonette; an estimated $30,000 is spent annually for local supplies and services. How does a bakery turn out 20,000 loaves of bread in a day? Well, McGavin ToastMaster in Lethbridge starts with 100-pound sacks of flour stockpiled in the basement. The flour is dumped by hand into a hopper and is blown upstairs through a pipe to the automaitc sifter which has six sifting screens. The sifted flour is then transported to a 10,000-pound holding tank from which it is drawn as required for sponges (a mixture of 65 per cent of the flour, yeast and yeast food). From the holding tank the flour is piped to the sponge mixer in the fermentation room. A scale automatically measures the flour; yeast, yeast food and water are added and the ingredients go into the mixer. SPONGE After the ingredients are mixed the sponge is dumped into a huge metal trough on wheels and sits there for five to 5�i hours. The sponge is then cut up and put into another mixer with the main bread dough ingredients and mixed another 12 minutes. The remix is then dumped into a wheeled trough. The remix in the trough will make 720 loaves of bread. Tlie trough is wheeled to another room where an over- head hoist picks it up and delivers it to the divider which cuts the remix into sections of dough at a rate of 35 to 40 a minute. A conveyor carries the pieces to a rounder which turns the blobs into balls, sealing the dough so it retains its gases. The rounded dough then goes into an overhead proofer which allows the dough to relax and "come back" (rise). After six minutes of relaxing, the dough-balls are fed into the moulder-panner which flattens the balls like pancakes, releasing the gases, rolls them up into loaf-size and automatically dumps them into four bread pans attached to each other. FINAL STAGE The pans are put on racks which are shoved into a proof box for an hour for the final stage of rising. When the hour is up the racks are wheeled to the oven which bakes 792 loaves at a time or 2,100 loaves an hour. As one man removes the baked bread another puts more bread .'nto tlie oven. The oven has 22 shelves which rotate automatically. A flip or a bump of the glazed bread pans dumps the baked bread onto a conveyor from which the loaves are put on cooling racks where they sit far 70 to 90 minutes After the bread has cooled It is placed by hand on a conveyor which carries it. through a bandfiaw slicer. The sliced bread continues on the conveyor to the bagger which pulls a plastic bag over it and automatically closes the bag and puts on a plastic clip to keep it closed. The - sponge maker at 'McGavin's starts work at 12:30 a.m. and the first bread goes into the oven at 7:30 a.m. The last loaf leaves the oven from 6 to 8 p.m. That's how" a bakery can turn out 20,000- loaves of bread in a day. The cleanliness of the operation is surprising. The hardwood floors are spotless. Piping and automatic equipment keeps flour dust from flying around. Premises are inspected by municipal, provincial and federal health inspectors. A dally sanitation chart assures that equipment and premises are kept clean. The plant manager and production superintendent make regular sanitation inspections, at least once a week. All plants are inspected periodically by head office sanitarians and by the American Institute of Baking. "Rigid sanitation controls are part and parcel of producing a quality product," said Fen Tunbridge, plant mao-ag�r. The divider After dough is remixed at McGavin Toastmaster plant in Lethbridge, it is deposited in trough, upper left, which holds enough dough for 720 loaves of bread. Dough is fed into hopper of "divider" by Tom Horii. The divider cuts dough into uniform sections at a rate of 35 to 40 a minute. A conveyor carries the seotions to a rounder which turns them into balls, sealing the dough so it retains its gases. Cleanliness is the heart of daily bread production Peter de Groot started with one old truck ;