Mon | Oct 15, 2018

National Bakery to open new distribution centre

Published:Wednesday | December 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMAvia Collinder
Gary 'Butch' Hendrickson, CEO of Continental Baking Company.

Continental Baking Company Limited, operator of National Bakery, is building a new bakery outlet in Kingston that will feature storage facilities and 5,000 square feet of retail space.

The new distribution point at the corner of Skibo Avenue and Balmoral Avenue will facilitate bulk buyers who are often left standing in the sun and rain at two smaller distribution points in Kingston, said Continental Baking CEO Gary 'Butch' Hendrickson. It represents a "sizable" investment of about $160 million, he said.

Hendrickson said the opening of the outlet in the New Year will be accompanied by the closure of a smaller operation at 15 Osborne Road.

"We couldn't expand anymore at the bakery," he said, referring to the primary outlet on Central Road in the Half- Way Tree Road area. That outlet adjoins National's 220,000-square foot manufacturing plant.

Outlining the project's background, Hendrickson said he would frequently pass long lines of customers congregated in the hot sun before both the Central Road and Osborne outlets and often felt bad about the conditions.

But: "We had no more space for expansion," he said, prompting the company to seek out a new location.

The new outlet, he said, will be a way of "giving back", to let buyers know that they are appreciated. "It was a way to say thank you," Hendrickson said.

Continental manufactures and distributes under four brands National, HTB, Holsum and HoMade. Its product lines include breads, buns, biscuits, crackers, bullas, cookies, snacks and rolls.

Started by Reginald Hendrickson in 1952 as a small bakery in Maggotty, St Elizabeth, the company now has two manufacturing plants in Mandeville and Kingston, and distribution centres in Jamaica, as well as overseas in London and New York. Continental also exports its products to several Caribbean islands and Canada, as outlined on its website.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com