A Tour of Bimbo Bakeries USA

 Honored to be a part of a global name!

What a tremendous day! Today, Paul Coleman (LifePath CEO and Executive Director), Ed Zablocki (LifePath Business Services Director), Victoria Mahon (Administrative Associate for Development) and myself took a tour of Bimbo Bakeries USA in Macungie. Our tour was given to us by our good friend Greg Peterson – plant manager and the guy responsible for getting LifePath a brand new $5,000 commercial dryer for our laundry program!

We were so excited for the visit. After all, it’s not every day that you get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the largest bakery companies in the world. So after suiting up with hard hats, hair nets, safety goggles, ear phones and a beard net (Paul LOL), we set off to tour the 240,000 square foot facility.

Bimbo Bakeries USA in Macungie produces over 200,000 loaves of bread and 150,000 hamburger and hot dog buns EACH DAY! Stroehmann and Burger King are two of the names most people would recognize.

As we walked (ran) through the 240,000 square foot bakery trying to keep up with Greg and his high-energy enthusiasm, we got to see the bread process through the line. It was military like, really, each part moving in cadence with purpose, precision and order.

The process starts off behind the scenes in the mixing room (aka-a room next door that's really the size of another warehouse!) where the ingredients are fed into tubes then pumped upward into a large and shiny overhead vat, then churned into dough. I was feeling grateful for my hard hat and hair net! 

After chruning, the vat doors open and the huge dough plops(!) down into a stainless steel container. The dough makes a hollow “thud” sound when it lands and looks like warm cream-colored taffy.

The dough is then cut and dropped onto baking sheets where it travels along a winding conveyer belt, moving up and down, hopping on and off trays until it eventually bakes its way through the huge oven. From the oven, the bread moves to a cooling room and finally ends up at the slicing, bagging, tagging and printing area.

The bakery was shiny, sterile and spotless and the workers – all wearing white – were super friendly and greeted us with smiles every step of the way. We had such a pleasant experience today and are appreciative for the opportunity to have taken this fabulous tour.

LifePath’s commercial laundry program,  which is located on Stefko Blvd in Bethlehem, provides 28 individuals with work opportunities and has contracts with ten Lehigh Valley companies. Bimbo Bakeries USA is one of them.

Our laundry program cleans the little suction cups that help the bread hop on and off the trays as it travels along on the conveyer belt. Without these suction cups the bread would not move along and the process would not work.

Bimbo Bakeries USA is a spectacular organization and produces a top-notch product recognized nationally and globally. We are thrilled to call Bimbo Bakeries USA our friend and are honored to be a part of their process.

Friendships make life meaningful.

Bimbo Bakeries USA – thank you for the tour and thank you for your friendship!

-March 6, 2019 by Annette Kaiser, Communications and Development Director, LifePath