Schwan’s Company Expands Capabilities with Acquisition of Better Baked Foods

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Schwan’s Company, a leading national food business, announced today it has acquired from NE Foods Inc. its wholly owned subsidiaries of Better Baked Foods and Drayton Foods. The terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The acquisition represents the second in as many months for Schwan’s as it works to increase its capabilities in the U.S. pizza market. The company announced in June the acquisition of MaMa Rosa’s Pizza, based in Sidney, Ohio.

“We are focused on adding to our capabilities and growing our share of the U.S. pizza market. We are extremely happy to add Better Baked Foods and Drayton Foods to our family of businesses as both are highly regarded for providing quality foods to their retail, food-service and home-delivery customers nationwide,” said Schwan’s CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios.

“The U.S. consumer’s passion for pizza continues to evolve and grow in exciting ways,” added Smyrnios. “The addition of Better Baked, Drayton and MaMa Rosa’s to Schwan’s will deepen our collaborations with strategic food-service and retail customers on innovating and growing the pizza category and meeting consumer demand.”

Better Baked Foods, based in North East, Penn., makes pizza, French bread pizza and sandwich items for private-label customers and food-service venues, and offers brands such as Better Baked Classics™, Daybreak Classics®, Papa Presto®, Zap-A-Snack® and Odyssey® foods in retail stores. The business, which includes Better Baked Foods of Erie, LLC, operates production facilities in North East, Penn.; Erie, Penn.; and Westfield, N.Y.

To learn more about Schwan’s, visit

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Who We Are

Learn about Better Baked Foods’ manufacturing capabilities .

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Better Baked Foods receives Schwan’s Food Company 2015 Quality Award

Schwans 2015 Quality Award

Schwans 2015 Quality Award

At a vendor summit hosted by the Schwan’s Food Company and attended by over 125 suppliers and vendors to their Company, Better Baked Foods was recognized as the recipient of their prestigious 2016 Quality Award.

The award symbolizes the effort put forth by Better Baked Foods to ensure every piece of product produced by Better Baked met the highest standards for taste, appearance and packaging. In the presentation we were sighted for our efforts to reduce sodium and the use of PHVO, eliminate preservatives from our crusts, and improve quality complaints by 18% year over year while maintaining our GFSI SQF Certifications.

“As a supplier to the Schwan’s Food Company for over thirty five years and to be recognized with such an honor validates all that is done by the associates at Better Baked Foods to exceed our customer expectations. We are grateful for the recognition and look forward to continuing our great relationships in helping our customers succeed.”

Joseph A. Pacinelli

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Allegheny College Visits Better Baked Foods – Erie

“It wasn’t even close. Even though BBF was our thirteenth field trip of the semester, we hadn’t even left your parking lot when my class unanimously voted Better Baked Foods the best field trip of the year. There was animated discussion in my van all the way back to Meadville. I can’t thank you enough.” -Eric Pallant, Department Chair

On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, twenty-one students and their professor from Allegheny College visited Better Baked Foods in Erie. The students are part of the Soil to Plate course which examines all aspects of agriculture and food systems: soil management and crop production; insect and pest management; energy and water requirements; food processing and preparation; food distribution and food justice; food politics and economics; culture, cooking, diet and health. The goal of this course is to help inform students about the complexities involved in producing sufficient high quality food for a global population.

Joe Pacinelli, President/COO gave an informative presentation about Better Baked and the co-packing industry. The enthusiastic students had many great questions. After garbing up, the afternoon concluded with tours of our facility hosted by Joe Pacinelli, Jerry Pacinelli and Dean Brown. The students were sent on their way with French Bread Pizza. It was an enjoyable day!

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The Kroger Company names Better Baked Foods, Inc. its 2015 Supplier of the Year!

The Kroger Company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio has named Better Baked Foods in North East, Pennsylvania its Supplier of the Year for 2015. The Kroger Company operates 2,625 Supermarkets in the United States and is the second largest retailer in the Unites States. Better Baked Foods manufactures single serve French Bread Pizza manufactured exclusively under the Kroger Foods brand and has been a supplier to the Kroger Company for over twenty five years. The supplier of the year award criteria measured quality, delivery, and service.
Better Baked Foods was recognized over the more than 450 suppliers to Kroger with a formal presentation by Kroger executives at the Private Label Show in Chicago, Illinois. “It is a huge honor for us to be chosen as Supplier of the Year”, stated Joseph Pacinelli, President of Better Baked Foods. “Our owner, Bob Miller, never started this business to receive such an award however the attainment of the award exemplifies what we believe and practice every day and that is to be the best.”
Better Baked Foods with locations in Erie, North East, and Westfield, New York employs over 400 associates. They are a national contract manufacturer that produces frozen bread based products for companies such as Kroger, Wegman’s, Aldi, Schwan’s, Kraft Heinz, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and Con Agra Foods.

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Better Baked Foods- A Recipe for Success

It was fifty years ago today that a man with an idea and a great product contacted and met with his neighbors, friends, and community bankers to ask them to invest in his dream of producing the world’s best French Bread Pizza.  That legwork generated the money to help fund the dream and the reality that is now Better Baked Foods and Better Baked Foods of Erie.  From those humble beginnings in Sherman, New York, to today having manufacturing and baking locations in Westfield, New York, North East, Pennsylvania and Erie, Pennsylvania. Today the company employs over 300 associates producing over 325,000 pieces of French Bread Pizza, pizzas, flatbreads, frozen breakfast sandwiches and school sandwiches and pizza every day.  Who was to know that it could get that big and continue to thrive fifty years later?  Bob Miller, the founder did.  As most companies, start days were long and free time was short.  Family and friends made up the first workforce and work was as much of a family reunion and social gathering as it was work.  Today the facilities look different from 1964 where manpower was plentiful and used considerably on the topping lines to the world of automation and high speed equipment however the quality of the product hasn’t changed one bit.  Today our products, led by French Bread Pizza, grace the tables of Americans all over the Unites States.  Our products are sold in schools, retail and Club Stores and can even be seen at the Hampton Inn breakfast bar.  Although we have been manufacturing products for fifty years, the majority of the time it has been under someone else’s label.  Our customer list includes some of the largest food companies in the world and they choose to work with us because of our reputation as a world class manufacturing organization that can support their needs in product development and manufacturing. 

To celebrate our fiftieth year in business, we created a new line of products utilizing a new brand called Better Baked Classics.  These products are currently being introduced into a number of retailers throughout the Unites States and the brand becomes part of our family of brands; Papa Presto and Zap A Snack.

 As with any successful business it doesn’t happen overnight or after fifty years without good people.  We have been very fortunate to have associates who believe in what they do and come to work each day working “to do better today what they did well yesterday”, a slogan we incorporated at the beginning.  With the highest level of food safety and quality, our associates continue to meet the challenges of a high paced, highly regulated frozen food industry.  Bob wanted to create a company where he could help others develop to their maximum potential through challenging and rewarding work.  Over the years that opportunity has happened for many who have worked and still work at Better Baked Foods.  We truly believe people are our greatest asset.

 In 2010, we started a Quarter Century Club for our associates and today membership stands at 68 people with 53 active working members, a real tribute to the quality of people and company.  Bob Miller is the first member of this prestigious society however, today he has turned the daily leadership of his Company to the capable hands of his oldest son, Chris Miller.  Chris leads NE Foods, the parent company, for Better Baked Foods, Better Baked Foods of Erie and an acquisition from 2002 in Fargo, North Dakota called Drayton Foods.  Chris literally grew up in the business and has been instrumental in developing our long-range strategy.   Chris stays close to the ideals and beliefs of his father as they work jointly at supporting the business growth.

As we enter our next quarter century of existence, we look for growth and continued development of our brands.  The food industry has its challenges with regulatory and consumer expectations and we must continue to stay ahead of those with reinvestment into our people, equipment and facilities.  Our challenge will always be to continually exceed our customers’ expectations for taste, quality and value and that drives our internal will.  As President of Better Baked Foods, I am proud and pleased to have the support of the Miller family to continue and improve upon what was started back in 1964.  Our corporate creed states it best when it reads “To be bold, creative, and pioneering in our efforts to develop plans for growth.  To live in the future and not in the past, by recognizing the trends of a fast changing world and to do things today that others will only think about doing tomorrow.” 

We are celebrating our past with eyes, ears and hearts on the future.  We know that without our ownerships’ commitment and support, good hardworking associates and customers that struggle for the future is nothing more than the dream Bob Miller had in 1964 however dreams do come true and we look forward to continuing that dream on and on.  Remember we make it better!

Joseph A. Pacinelli


Better Baked Foods, Inc.

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Quarter Century Club enrolls new members

On Thursday, September 27th, Better Baked Foods, Inc. enrolled the fourth class of the Quarter Century Club as thirteen associates were honored.

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United States Congressman Glenn Thompson

Congressman Glenn Thompson visited the North East facility and spent time learning about our business. Congressman Thompson will become the North East’s congressional representative beginning January 1st.

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Better Baked Foods recognized for partnership with General Mills

That opportunity presented itself in September 2010, when General Mills moved forward with developing Pillsbury Grands! biscuit sandwiches. Because of the existing relationship between the two companies, Better Baked Foods got to work on the project in a matter of 10 days.

Click on link below to read full article published in the March edition of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods.

March 2012 article from Refrigerated & Frozen Foods

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At Better Baked Foods, Food Safety and product Quality is deeply rooted in our culture and supported by employee training and rigorously adhered to policies and procedures. We are very proud to achieve SQF Re-Certification under the Global Food Safety Initiative.

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