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Country Oven Bakery Expands Bowling Green Facility

$3.8 million investment adds 2,500 square feet of office space and $2.8 million in upgraded equipment

Published Friday, May 20, 2016 1:30 pm

The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, with state and local officials, gathered to celebrate Country Oven Bakery’s recent addition with a ribbon cutting event at its Pioneer Drive facility in Bowling Green.

 Country Oven Bakery, a manufacturing facility of The Kroger Co., has been a staple in the South Central Kentucky community since opening its doors in 1981. Since that time, Country Oven Bakery has become the largest supplier of baked goods to more than 2,800 Kroger locations in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Annually, Country Oven Bakery produces 147 million pounds of bread, rolls, cookies, Danishes, cake, iced cake, muffins and cupcakes for Kroger.  

In 1981, operations commenced with 175 employees. Earlier this year, the company reported 650 full-time employees, nearly quadrupling its staff since production began 35 years ago. Thirty-two of the original associates still work at the facility.

“We are excited to be a part of the continuing growth of South Central Kentucky,” said Bill Koons, site leader at Country Oven Bakery. “We are a proud member of the community and, with our great associates, look forward to continue manufacturing the highest-quality baked goods both for our customers here in Bowling Green and throughout The Kroger Co.”

“Any investment by local industry is an investment in the future of not only the company, but in the people of Warren County,” said Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon. “Country Oven Bakery has been a long-standing member of our manufacturing community, and we’re proud to celebrate their success today.”

The new addition brings total square footage of Country Oven’s facility to 265,000 and will house the company’s front office personnel. The recent project also included $2.8 million in new and upgraded production equipment.

“Country Oven Bakery’s facility improvements indicate that they plan to be here for many years to come,” said Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “Bowling Green is a hub for business activity and for over 30 years, Country Oven Bakery has been an important part of that activity. We appreciate Country Oven’s commitment to our community.”

“Country Oven Bakery is the largest food processing company in South Central Kentucky and Bowling Green is fortunate to have a company that has experienced such prolific growth,” said Chamber President and CEO Ron Bunch. “Since Country Oven’s last expansion in 2012, their staff has grown over 20 percent. We are proud to have such a strong company committed to growing right here in South Central Kentucky.”

This is the fourth economic development announcement for South Central Kentucky in 2016 with $65.7 million in capital investment and 170 new jobs created. For more information on the South Central Kentucky Industrial Park or the Chamber of Commerce, contact Chamber President and CEO, Ron Bunch, CEcD at ron@bgchamber.com or 270-781-3200.

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About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce:

Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,200 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region. Learn more about South Central Kentucky’s advantages at www.southcentralky.com.

About The Kroger Co.

Every day, the Kroger Family of Companies makes a difference in the lives of 8.5 million customers and 431,000 associates who shop or serve in 2,778 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Kroger and its subsidiaries operate an expanding ClickList offering – a personalized, order online, pick up at the store service – in addition to its 2,231 pharmacies, 784 convenience stores, 323 fine jewelry stores, 1,387 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food production plants, including Country Oven Bakery, in the United States. Kroger is recognized as one of America's most generous companies for its support of more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners, breast cancer research and awareness, the military and their families and more than 145,000 community organizations including schools. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable.