Issue Spring 15
A fourth-generation, family owned and operated business, Boston Baking has developed many years of expertise in producing wholesale baked goods. Known for products ranging from bagels, cookies and scones to whoopie pies, seasonal items and other specialty bakery products, the Boschetto family has carved out a legacy in the baking industry that dates back to the early 1900s when the family first established a bakery in Boston’s North End.
“My great-grandfather came over from Italy and started a bakery, soon getting into wholesaling with restaurants and boutique shops,” Vice President of Sales Kristen Boschetto says. “Over time, the clientele changed and the company got involved with wholesaling and providing baked goods in hotels, supermarkets and clubs.”
Quality and Innovation
Boston Baking has always looked to be in front of the market. It was producing bagels in the late 1980s and early 1990s before the product exploded and ultimately became a commodity. It has worked to respond to market changes such as the changing attitudes toward carbs, trans fats and gluten. “We have diversified our item offerings, and we’ve gotten into working with retail and foodservice companies,” Boschetto says.
Today, the company still calls Boston home. From its 25,000-square-foot facility, Boston Baking strives for quality, value and innovation (QVI). The QVI methodology is incorporated throughout every function at Boston Baking. The company maintains quality from the time the ingredients are mixed until it delivers products to customers. By providing customers with bake shop-quality products, it can help customers make their bakery programs succeed. In addition, Boston Baking continues to build on its line of health-conscious, on-trend products as part of its commitment to innovation.
The company continues to look for ways to grow. For example, Boston Baking recently expanded its operations into production partnering, or contract baking. It can work with customers looking to enter into a partnership with a bakery, serving as a one-stop-shop supplier.
“We can provide co-packing and production partnering services to large companies in addition to our foodservice and wholesale operations,” Boschetto says. “We have national distribution, and we’ve partnered with QVC. Our whoopie pies have really put us on the map, and we can private-label products for national distribution. The bulk of our sales are in New England.”
Innovation is critical for the growth of business, so Boston Baking is committed to introducing new product lines and staying on top of health, flavor and product trends. The company’s signature whoopie pie allows it to apply its creative side and develop fun and unique flavors.
“We’re creating more recognition around the country with the whoopie pie,” Boschetto says. “It is a convenient product that is fun for all ages.”
Boschetto says the company is expanding the whoopie pie line for foodservice companies and manufacturers. She says customers can use the product in its savory or sweet form because very little handling is required.
“People like them because they want more products to be user-friendly, easier to display and looks like it is freshly baked,” she says. “We are also working with a partner on developing potential gluten-free offerings. We always look for new product launches while making items that are still relatable for consumers. We put our own spin on products, like with the sweet danish pie we launched last year.”
Going for Growth
To expand its distribution, Boston Baking understands that its relationships require constant contact and the development of new ideas on everything from flavoring to packaging. The company works closely with direct customers and with brokers, regularly checking in with them to see how it can provide better service.
“An advantage for us is that we can customize and be more hands-on because we are not fully automated and can do smaller production runs and unique flavors,” Boschetto says. “We have the flexibility to go in different directions.”
The company has established strong relationships with equipment manufacturers, too. This allows it to find ways to create efficiencies and develop new product lines. Two years ago, Boston Baking brought in some pastry equipment that helped grow its whoopie pie line, and it plans to bring in new finishing equipment this year. “We analyze our products and where we think growth will be before we bring in new equipment,” Boschetto says.
Investments in food safety are also helping the company to differentiate itself. Boston Baking brought in a quality assurance director and created a quality team that is focused on making sure all products are safe for consumers.
“We want to be sure that what we serve is safe, and we do that through internal programs and an annual AIB third-party audit,” Boschetto says.
Close to capacity in its current facility, Boston Baking is looking to grow and expand. The company sees opportunities on the retail side and in finding ways to partner with supermarkets. It also believes that seasonal items can help expand its national distribution. However it grows, safety will remain a major priority.
“Food safety will always be a constant focus for us, as we always work to stay on top of changing trends and regulations,” Boschetto says. “We must also work to understand what the end-consumer wants. We have to know how to feed them what they are looking for.”