Making the kosher switch from OU-D to OU Pareve means much more than removing a letter from a company’s packaging. For gluten-free granola manufacturer Bakery On Main, it means a whole new world of possibilities.
“By certifying our plant pareve, we can provide products to all kosher consumers as well as to those who do not eat dairy products,” said Michael Smulders, Bakery On Main Founder and President. “Offering kosher products under the supervision of the premier certification agency allows consumers who keep kosher, vegetarian and halal to have confidence that Bakery On Main’s products are safe for them. In addition, the OU symbol is seen as a mark of quality for the general consumer.”
The Bakery On Main plant, located in East Hartford, CT, was certified OU Kosher in 2007. At that time, the plant was producing biscotti which contained dairy ingredients. Biscotti production ended in early 2009 and by early 2010 the plant had transitioned to OU Pareve.
“Converting our bakery to pareve was a great experience,” said Melissa Carducci-Brooks, Bakery On Main Operations Manager. “It was very interesting to watch our rabbi boil, bake, and blow torch all of our equipment and utensils. I believe that converting to pareve will open up many new avenues for us.”
Rabbi David Bistricer, the company’s rabbinic coordinator, agrees. “Pareve certification allows a company to reach a far broader kosher market, not to mention those that are sensitive to allergens,” he said. The company anticipates that its conversion to pareve will aid in sales and marketing efforts, as well.
“There are a lot of opportunities and no downside,” declared Allan Becker, National Sales Manager. “A large percentage of people across the country look for kosher products many times because it indicates to them that the product is cleaner and purer.”
According to Bakery On Main Marketing Associate Sara Lefebvre, the ability to display the OU symbol on the company’s packaging and marketing materials is particularly valuable from a marketing standpoint. “When marketing a product designed for consumers with food allergies, it’s not just about convincing them your product tastes good, it’s about establishing trust that your product is safe for them to eat,” said Lefebvre.