Sara Lee Frozen Bakery Opens New R&D Center, Bolsters Product Innovations
State-of-the-art facility, The Kitchens of Sara Lee, mixes innovation and collaboration at the company's Oakbrook Terrace headquarters
Sara Lee Frozen Bakery celebrates a sweet addition to its recently launched Oakbrook Terrace headquarters with the June 24 opening of a 10,000-square-foot R&D innovation center and test kitchen. The newly constructed Kitchens of Sara Lee facility will focus on the innovation and expansion of new flavors and product lines for America’s Favorite Bakery.
“The Kitchens of Sara Lee is a milestone in our journey to becoming the world’s most beloved bakery,” said Craig Bahner, Chief Executive Officer of Sara Lee Frozen Bakery. “This new collaborative space brings our culinary experts together with our sales and marketing team to accelerate our product innovation, anticipate new trends and create many more irresistible foods for our customers for years to come.”
For the first time in more than 10 years, the marketing and product development teams will work side-by-side with twice the amount of resources dedicated to Sara Lee Frozen Bakery’s brands. The innovation center features a fully equipped test kitchen, lab, storage and presentation space and is custom designed for customer showcase and co-collaboration.
Newly appointed Research & Development Director Judy Lindsey leads a team of product innovators and culinary experts that has doubled in size since Sara Lee Frozen Bakery became an independent company in July 2018.
“Our team has a singular focus on frozen baked goods,” said Lindsey. “We now have an incredible kitchen and lab where we can transform fresh ideas into new products and packaging faster and better than ever before. With a space designed for close collaboration with our customers, we will continue to grow and innovate our company’s premier brands.”
The opening of The Kitchens of Sara Lee marks the end of a five-month construction project, led by Morgan Harbour Construction, within the building adjacent to Sara Lee Frozen Bakery’s Oakbrook Terrace headquarters. Oakbrook based EWP Architects redesigned and optimized the space to create a fully equipped kitchen, lab, storage, freezer and collaborative space to replicate, refine and innovate product offerings in the new facility.
About Sara Lee Frozen Bakery:
Sara Lee Frozen Bakery is a leading maker of frozen bakery and dessert products headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Oakbrook Terrace with bakeries in Michigan and North Carolina. The company’s premier brands include Sara Lee®, Van’s™, Chef Pierre® and Bistro® Collection. Each day, the company pursues its Vision of becoming the world’s most beloved bakery by creating irresistible foods, growing with our customers, and delivering value for all. For more information, visit www.saraleefrozenbakery.com.