Traditional Baking: Measuring Sweet Success One Bite at a Time

Traditional Baking is a family-owned and -operated company devoted to providing the highest quality cookies packaged for wholesale, retail and in-store sale. For more than 26 years, the California-based company has been baking love and care into every bite, as that is the Voortman way.

The Voortman family’s treats-based roots date back to 1951 when Bill and Harry Voortman founded Canada-based Voortman Cookies. Bill and Harry grew the business from a local baker to an established cookie brand that is now distributed throughout North America with the help of the second generation. Carrying on the tradition, four of Bill’s children started Traditional Baking in 1987 with a license to manufacture the family’s treasured Voortman Cookies to satisfy eager taste buds across the southwestern United States.

“I’ve been with the company from the start,” shares Kathy Voortman, Bill’s daughter, as well as president and CEO of Traditional Baking. “The family recipes date back several generations to the village of Hellendoorn, Holland.”

Kathy and her siblings now boast a modernized 100,000-square-foot facility, allowing Traditional Baking to grow its customer base and expand production. “Traditional Baking was initially a licensed facility for Voortman Cookies, but in 2011 we sold the license back and now manufacturer under our own label, as well as contract and private-label manufacturing,” explains Kathy. “Amid a steady amount of growth, our commitment to quality cookies has always remained the same.”

Committed to Cookies

Traditional Baking is the quite the cookie connoisseur; the company produces an approximate 2 million cookies per day in more than 50 different varieties of the sweet treat. From seasonal themes – such as red, white and blue in recognition of the Fourth of July – to traditional tea ring and oatmeal raisin flavors, Traditional Baking has every palate covered.

“We have the finest selection and quality for the price,” ensures Kathy. “We produce a variety of cookies that go out to retailers, bakeries and wholesalers.”

The majority of Traditional Baking’s products are distributed under in-house brands, including Baker’s Batch – sold primarily in dollar stores – and the self-titled Traditional Baking, specializing in seasonal cookies sold to grocery stores, drug stores and mass merchants nationwide.

Traditional Baking packages a wide range of cookies from sugar-free chocolate chip, oatmeal and shortbread to roll-packed peanut crunch and almonette, fancy-style Windmill brand cookies with slivered almonds to bite-sized snicker doodle and toffee crunch cookies. Despite the size and scope of the operation, Kathy stresses the importance of quality in every cookie that goes out the door. “Our bakery smells like any other small family kitchen,” she says. “We want our cookies to taste just like your mom took them out of the oven at home.”

Traditional Baking is also committed to food safety in regards to all of its baked goods. The company is fully SQF-certified, which entails a globally recognized food safety program endorsing production, manufacturing, storage and distribution agencies.

26 Years and Growing

Kathy has seen the family operation grow from a two-man shop to an influential company with double-digit growth over the past several years. Despite the difficult economy, Traditional Baking is on track for another gain in 2013. “In the next couple of years we’re looking to increase production to better match the capabilities of our facility and its personnel,” she shares. “A 50-percent increase is very likely and doable. Of course, there will be challenges, but I feel that we have the management team and production supervisors that can accomplish this.”

Kathy admits she’s proud of where the company has come and looks forward to where Traditional Baking is headed. “I look back to just a few years ago and see the progress we’ve made and know that it can continue,” she explains. “Our No. 1 goal is, and has always been, to service our core customers by meeting their needs and helping them expand their business.”

Relying on repeat business has pulled Traditional Baking through the economic downturn and will carry the company into the future. “Much of our growth has been by taking a one truckload per month order and turning it into three,” says Kathy. “The relationships we develop aren’t just to expand volume, but also to showcase the variety of products we offer and how we can help our clients.”

Chocolate chip, iced oatmeal raisin, shortbread, toffee, peanut krunch or snicker doodle, take a pick; it’s sure to be a sweet marriage of quality and comfort. Traditional Baking continues to turn out a successful product one bite at a time by offering a wide array of products and friendly, family-style service.

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