OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – A business and bakery staple in the city of Opelika is shutting down production after nearly 90 years in business.
Flowers Baking Co. of Opelika, located at 101 Simmons St., will permanently close on December 20, 2019 due to production inefficiencies and decreased volume. The announcement was made Monday to the bakery’s 146 employees. The thrift store along 2nd Avenue in Opelika will remain open.
“This was a very difficult decision because we know it affects our team members and because the bakery has been a part of Opelika since the 1930s. However, in the last few years, our volume has reduced significantly and in today’s changing and competitive environment, it’s necessary that the company channel production to more efficient, higher-speed bakeries,” said Michael Lord, general manager of Flowers Baking Co. of Opelika.
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller tells News 3 he was heartbroken when he heard the news.
“It breaks my heart to see Flower’s Foods close their Opelika bakery. This has been a community icon since 1963. Having a job at Flowers helped a lot of local families buy a home, feed and educate their children. The company is committed to helping current employees relocate to another Flowers facility or to find something local. The City will work with the State and others, including Southern Union Community College, to help displaced employees,” said Fuller.
Lord says the company has an incredible team and they appreciate all their hard work and dedication.
“To assist during their transition, we’re providing a competitive severance package and offering job counseling and assistance through local and state agencies,” said Lord.
This bakery has been producing hotdog and hamburger buns and brown and serve rolls. Moving forward, these items will be made at other Flowers bakeries, and will continue to be available in area stores.