Fitzgerald said Fairlight achieved this success by keeping a close eye on school nutritional standards and requirements, and creating a product that meets those standards. Similarly, Fairlight’s whole grain cookies featuring omega-3 fatty acids are popular with health-conscious hospitals.
Zachary, however, said Tom, could see opportunities beyond simply baking a good product.
“Zach has added new dimensions,” said Tom, who has agreed to “stick around” for a couple years to oversee bringing some products to fruition, but plans to exit the company after that.
Zachary’s new dimensions include source tracking and co-packing.
“There’s a growing concern — people want to know where their food comes from,” said Tom.
In response, Bake Works has incorporated “traceability” into their products. For example, the company sources wheat from a single farmer in Idaho – that wheat goes to the mill and is milled specifically for Bake Works.
“We can trace our wheat to a single farm,” said Tom, “and we’re trying to do this with as many ingredients as we can.”
The ability to provide 100-percent traceability will enable Bake Works to complete food audits required to expand beyond food service into larger retail markets such as Costco or Walmart.
Bake Works’ food safety program has also enhanced their ability to attract co-packing customers. Co-packing involves producing and packaging another company’s product. For example, a startup company may have a great recipe but no funds to open a facility. Or, a small to medium-sized business may want to increase production but lacks the necessary infrastructure.
“Co-packing,” said Tom, “allows us to pay bills as we develop the Bake Works brand.”
Local residents wanting to try a Fairlight cookie or a gluten-free scone, as well as enjoy a good cup of coffee and free Wi-Fi access, can visit Fitzgerald’s Bake Shop (11819 NE Hwy 99 in Salmon Creek). The shop, which serves as a retail outlet as well as the distribution center for the company’s delivery runs from Salem to Seattle, also offers classic, whole-wheat, and gluten-free cakes for special events. To celebrate the advent of Bake Works and new frontiers, the shop will feature a grand opening in June.