Inflationary environment takes its toll on J Skinner Baking

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

J Skinner Baking is renowned for its multi-layered Danish pastries. Pic: J Skinner Baking
J Skinner Baking is renowned for its multi-layered Danish pastries. Pic: J Skinner Baking

Related tags: J Skinner Baking, Inflation, ingredient costs, plant closure

The current economy has forced one of the largest family-owned bakeries in the US to make the ‘extraordinarily difficult’ decision to close one of its plants, eliminating almost 140 jobs.

Like many others, J Skinner Baking – a 1983 offshoot of a footprint in the food business since the late 1800s – is feeling the effects of the current environment.

The Omaha, Nebraska-headquartered company has made the decision to shutter its manufacturing facility in Paris, Texas, citing runaway inflation, rising ingredient prices and stiffening competition.

Long-term health

J Skinner production

“The decision to close the Paris plant came after a strategic review of the competitive and economic environment, including raw material sourcing,”​ said Audie Keaton, president and CEO of J. Skinner Baking.

“Decisions that directly impact the lives of our employees are extraordinarily difficult; however, for the long-term health and competitiveness of J. Skinner Baking the Company has decided to consolidate its operations in its Nebraska facilities.”

J. Skinner Baking is one of the largest family-owned bakeries in the US, with two facilities (Nebraska and Texas) employing almost 450 bakers.

The bakery manufacturer produces more than 350 million pastries a year, distributed at retail and foodservice outlets, as well as through co-packing services throughout North America. One of the bakery’s specialties is laminated dough, a time-consuming method that requires repeated rolling and folding instead of kneading to create the 108 layers of authentic Danish flaky pastry needed for the popular strip cakes known simply as Danish.

J Skinner Laminating dough

The Texas facility was opened in December 2012 by then Gov. Rick Perry in a former Sara Lee Bakery facility in Paris. Keaton said the closure will affect all 140 salaried and hourly employees at the facility, but added support for displaced workers is being provided.

“This decision was not easily made, and in no way reflects on the dedication or performance of our colleagues at the Paris facility.”

He also reiterated that the J. Skinner Company will continue delivering the highest possible quality, customer service and innovation to its customers and consumers.

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