Mrs. Baird's Closing Waco Bakery

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009  |  Updated 8:45 AM CDT
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Mrs. Baird's Closing Waco Bakery

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The robber asked for bread, but the victims thought he wanted a loaf. They quickly realized he wanted money.

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Mrs Baird's Bakery announced that it will close its Waco plant, ending 90 years of making fresh-baked bread and sweet rolls in Central Texas.

Up to 90 production jobs will be eliminated by mid-April. The weekly production of 200,000 packages of bread and buns in Waco will be transferred to Fort Worth, San Antonio and Abilene.

The Waco facility will be used as a distribution depot with 20 to 30 employees.

"To increase productivity, we need to add new equipment, and we just don't have the room in Waco," company spokeswoman Elizabeth Watters said. "In Waco, we have wonderful people turning out a wonderful product. We just don't have the space to modernize the facility."

Built in 1919, the 43,000-square-foot plant was purchased by Fort Worth-based Mrs Baird's in 1960.

"It's the end of an era," said Wilton Lanning, executive director of the Waco Business League, who worked at Mrs Baird's decades ago. "They used to show those commercials with the soft twisting of the dough, and I can still do that in my sleep."

Mrs Baird's products will continue to be delivered daily to grocery stores in the Waco market, officials said.

The company got its start in 1908 when Ninnie Baird began baking bread for neighbors in her Fort Worth neighborhood.

Mrs Baird's is now a division of Bimbo Bakeries USA, the Fort Worth-based subsidiary of Mexico-based Grupo Bimbo, one of the world's leading baking companies.

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