Jim and Gail Rosen opened Highland Baking Co. (HBC) in Highland Park, Illinois in 1984 with only 5 employees. Jim was a third-generation bread baker and his vision of providing a quality product and exceptional service while treating customers and team members like family has continued under the next generation, Stu and Cheryl Rosen. HBC produces a wide variety of bread products – hamburger buns, pan breads, rolls, and subs – and provides them to companies in the food service industry, large and small.
In 2012 HBC purchased an unused baking facility in Spartanburg, SC, vacant since 2008, and turned it into the company’s second location. Since 2012 the HBC production facility in Spartanburg grew to employ 210 full-time workers who operated two production lines for three shifts each day, maxing out the facility’s available cold storage space. The Innovate Fund’s $11.5 million investment provided for a 35,000 square foot expansion of HBC’s cold storage space and the machinery and equipment necessary to add a third production line, allowing the company to continue its fast-paced growth and create an additional 110 full-time employees in an Appalachian Regional Commission Distressed Area that demonstrates 47% Poverty, and 17.4% unemployment.
HBC has begun working with the Northside Development Group, a local nonprofit community development corporation and a Network Member of Purpose Built Communities, to recruit and hire residents from the Northside community, located less than 5 minutes away, which has an unemployment ratio 3.3 times greater than the national average. Employees of HBC will also have access to opportunities for job training and advancement including professional development programs at Lanier Tech and the American Institute of Baking.
“We are excited about The Innovate Fund’s investment in this project, which will afford us the continued ability to grow and further solidify our commitment to the community of Spartanburg”
– Stu Rosen, Chief Executive Officer, Highland Baking Co.