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Big plans at Baker Boy

As a sweet, tantalizing smell emanates from a building in Dickinson's West Industrial Park, a bulldozer in the back moves dirt, readying the area for one business's largest expansion since its 1979 birth.

After "the business plan was on a tablet and a bar napkin," staff at the Baker Boy Bake Shop Inc. are preparing to break ground on a 50,000 square foot expansion which is slated to be fully operational by August.

The expansion is the company's largest to date, from both a financial and size standpoint, Baker Boy President Guy Moos said Tuesday.

The building expansion carries a price tag of about $5.2 million and about $5 million to $6 million worth of new equipment will be installed, Moos said.

Several reasons factored into the decision to move forward with the expansion, including location and a strong workforce, Moos said.

The expansion will allow for new product creation, including the ability to fulfill an increasing donut demand.

"We're actually putting in an automated donut line that'll produce 1,000 dozen an hour," Moos said. "Today we probably produce, I'm going to guess we're producing 450 dozen an hour."

The company also foresees the possibility of large gains in the sales of premium bakery products, from gourmet rolls to gourmet cinnamon rolls, Moos said.

"The third area that I think we're going to gain greatly is our ability to make artisian breads," Moos said.

Moving from "good ovens" to a "great oven," a nearly 70-foot German tunnel oven will be installed, excellent for baking artesian breads, rolls, cakes and other items, Moos said.

The company will also spend about $1.5 million on a refrigeration upgrade and about $1 million for a fourth spiral freezer, Moos said.

Scott White, plant engineer, said an additional 8,200 square feet in freezer space will be added.

Hiring more employees is not part of the expansion, rather, the work will be done more so by automation, creating better jobs and a higher skill level, Moos said.

In his nearly 48 years with the company, Plant Engineer Gerald Burwick has served in several roles at the company and experienced many changes, but this expansion is near and dear to his heart.

"I am so proud of this, for what I've done myself," Burwick said. "When I cut myself I bleed Baker Boy."The company has undergone some visual changes, too.

After collecting customer feedback, Baker Boy worked with a Minneapolis-based marketing firm to design a new logo and graphic, one that had been used for about 50 years.

"From where we were to what we're going to, it's quite a change but it's looking towards the future and moving forward, that this is a really positive change for us," said Carrie Elkin, Baker Boy marketing manager.

The company's web site,, also underwent a redesign which launched Sept. 1.

On Tuesday, Gov. John Hoeven will attend a groundbreaking ceremony on the west side of Baker Boy.

The festivities begin at 2 p.m. MST and the public is welcome.

"Baker Boy's newest expansion demonstrates not only how important it is to continue to grow, but also to diversify our economy in order to strengthen our state for the future," Hoeven said, according to an e-mail from his office. "The company has shown an ability to innovate and expand, so that they now employ an average of about 250 people in Dickinson and compete in states throughout the Midwest and West, from Wisconsin to Washington."