Flowers Foods Inc. can now attempt what has eluded generations of Tasty Baking Co. managers: making Tastykake a household name far outside the core Mid-Atlantic area surrounding Philadelphia.
The Thomasville, Ga., company said Wednesday that it had completed the purchase of Tasty for $175 million, most of that for the payment of debt that Tasty took on to move to a new bakery in the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia last year.
"We're looking at plans as early as this summer to get Tastykake products on our trucks," Flowers president Allen Shiver said in a telephone interview Wednesday, though he then hedged a bit on exactly how soon Southerners might find Butterscotch Krimpets in their convenience stores.
"It's better to do it right than do it fast," he said.
Shiver said the production problems at Tasty's $78 million bakery in the Navy Yard had been resolved. "The bakery is running well. I see no problems there," he said.
Hiccups at the bakery - paid for in part with more than $20 million in public loans - prevented Tasty from achieving anticipated savings in the first year of operations. That, coupled with soaring prices for flour, sugar, and other ingredients, put 97-year-old Tasty in a cash squeeze that forced it to sell out.
Shiver declined to discuss potential job cuts at Tasty's headquarters, which are in a separate building at the Navy Yard. He acknowledged there would be some duplicate administrative positions, but said that Flowers intended to expand the business and that "the net effect will be additional jobs for Tastykake in Philadelphia."
Overall, Tasty employs 740.
Charles P. Pizzi, who became Tasty's chief executive officer in 2002 with his own hope of making Tastykakes known nationally, will remain at Tasty during an integration period, which could last three to six months or more, Shiver said.
Pizzi did not respond to an e-mailed request for an interview. His secretary said Pizzi, who is board chairman at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, was in Washington leading a meeting.
Flowers named Paul D. Ridder, Tasty's chief financial officer, president of the Philadelphia bakery. Dan Scott, a Flowers executive, was appointed president of the Tasty bakery in Oxford, Chester County.