CHICAGO — East Balt Bakeries has reached an agreement with Dublin, Ohio-based The Wendy’s Co. to acquire the latter’s Zanesville, Ohio, bakery business, The New Bakery Co., L.L.C. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to add the New Bakery business and employees to the East Balt family,” said Mark Bendix, chief executive officer of East Balt. “We are excited about the potential opportunity to further expand our U.S. bakery operations and to service a terrific global brand like Wendy’s. We look forward to continuing to work with the Wendy’s and New Bakery leadership teams to fully transition the business in the coming weeks.”
Headquartered in Chicago, East Balt is a global bakery business spanning four continents with 21 bakeries in 12 countries. The company’s roots date to 1939 when Louis Kuchuris acquired Mary Ann, a bankrupt bakery on the northwest side of Chicago that produced a line of bread, rolls, buns and pastries. Under the ownership of Mr. Kuchuris, Mary Ann serviced restaurants, snack shops, drive-ins, hotels, schools and caterers.
The course of the business changed in 1955 when, on a handshake with Ray Kroc, Mr. Kuchuris agreed to begin supplying buns to Chicago-area McDonald’s restaurants owned by the emerging fast food pioneer. In 1969, Mr. Kuchuris built East Balt Commissary, an automatic bun bakery that exclusively serviced 40 McDonald’s in the Chicago area.
|Emil Brolick, president and c.e.o. of Wendy’s.
Emil Brolick, president and c.e.o. of Wendy’s, said the sale of the New Bakery business is consistent with its growth and financial strategies to focus resources against the core restaurant business.
“We believe New Bakery and its employees have the potential to thrive and grow as part of an industry-leading and dedicated bakery company like East Balt,” Mr. Brolick said. “We thank and recognize the New Bakery team for their important contributions to the Wendy’s brand.”
Wendy’s purchased the New Bakery Co. in Zanesville in 1981. The bakery, which makes buns and bread for the restaurant chain’s outlets, employs 320 between two plants in Zanesville. As of December, the bakery was supplying 715 company-owned Wendy’s and 2,232 franchised restaurants, or about half of Wendy’s chain. New Bakery Co. also makes products for other grocery and food products businesses.The facility will continue to serve as one of Wendy’s bakery vendors to provide the Wendy’s system with a consistent supply of products.