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Baking bread and cleaning up

A nationally recognized bakery that specializes in handmade, traditional breads as well as sandwiches and sweets, Amy’s Bread has a 30,000-sq.-ft. food production facility in Long Island City and three retail stores in New York City.

As with any bakery, cleanliness is a main concern, according to Amy Scherber, owner and founder of Amy’s Bakery. “Cleaning is really important to my company for many reasons. Our wholesale customers demand a sanitary location, and there are inspections of our facility by outside parties to check and see if everything is clean and up to the standards of different health codes. We work with flour, and flour flies and floats everywhere, so it [the facility] needs to be cleaned and maintained all day long.”

Since being established in 1992, the company had been cleaning the old-fashioned way. But that was inefficient and, sometimes, downright unsafe. “We weren’t truly addressing our cleaning needs with mops and brooms. We would have to pre-soak caked-on flour and clean over one area multiple times,” explains Jessica Blank, facilities manager.

It became obvious the bakery needed equipment that could handle the entire facility in an unobtrusive manner during working hours. It chose a floor-to-ceiling cleaning solution from Nilfisk.

The solution consists of three pieces of equipment. The SC351 push scrubber provides forward and backward scrubbing and drying with a two-tank system, an adjustable deck for better traction control, roller bumpers for near-to-wall cleaning and a low noise level. An SC1500 rider scrubber/sweeper offers step-up-and-go operation, with a one-touch scrub on/off switch and two brush pressure settings for high cleaning performance, as well as a 44-liter tank with electronic-controlled water flow, allowing up to 75 minutes of cleaning per tank. The S2 industrial vacuum collects fine dust and debris in crevices, on floors and production equipment, in hot ovens and on overhead pipes and beams. Equipped with a control panel that supplies real-time information about the vacuum efficiency, the unit has long attachments, eliminating the need for step ladders.

“With the combination of the scrubbers and the vacuum, we can reclaim production rooms and get back to work quickly,” says Blank. “[Before] for overhead cleaning, two people used a ladder and a shop-style vac. It was difficult for them and disruptive to our workflow. Now, it’s a one-person job, and we can do it while others are working in the room.

“We’ve been using Nilfisk equipment because we needed something that was strong and could handle the heavy use. When they [the staff] see a clean bakery, they work in a different way. Their energy is really positive when it’s really clean in here. It [the equipment] is a great investment,” concludes Scherber.