ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. -- Netherlands-based CSM has merged two of the company's current divisions -- Wisconsin-based Orth Company and Karp's based here -- to form a broad line of bakery products, called Baker & Baker. The new subsidiary will be headquartered at Karp's facility, here.
Paul Baron, president and chief executive officer for Baker & Baker, said the parent company, CSM, acquired both Karp's and Orth over the past three years as a part of their ongoing plan for growth and expansion. The decision was then made to form a core strength in both bakery supply and food service that has gone on to supply chains such as Wegmans Food Markets, Rochester, N.Y., and Shaw's Supermarkets, East Bridgewater, Mass.
"CSM looked at the companies they already owned when deciding to move ahead and form a new division," said Baron. "Then I was brought in to pull it all together."
He added that while he has just celebrated his first anniversary with the company, the merger was not officially, publicly launched until January 1 of this year.
Baker & Baker joins together two manufacturing companies whose combined heritage exceeds 200 years. Orth is a manufacturer of value-added bread and bakery products which specializes in custom items for large food service chains. Karp's is a national manufacturer of frozen bakery items, such as Scoop & Bake muffin batter and cookie dough, as well as other dessert and breakfast items.
Baker & Baker is functioning as a manufacturer, not a brand name, Baron said. All products currently packaged with labels from either Orth or Karp's will remain unchanged, save the manufacturer's name.
This practice will apply to brands acquired in the future as well. Baron said the next step is to investigate companies outside of CSM's realm that have something to offer Baker & Baker.
"The plan is to grow this new division at an accelerated rate," he said. "And if a brand has earned itself a good reputation, I see no need to tamper with its label and confuse loyal customers. Baker & Baker will serve as a manufacturer and monitor, not a brand name."
There are also plans to expand their current product lines and to utilize CSM's expansive technological resources to help grow the business.
Baker & Baker manufactures a complete line of convenient, high quality bakery products designed especially for food service.