As donut production volumes swelled at Hopewell Hot
Bagels, owner John DiDio looked to LVO Mfg. Inc. for equipment
promising to ease the load on a stressed staff.
For 22 years, the bakery has served the Hopewell Junction, N.Y. area as a retail bagel shop. Three years ago, DiDio took advantage of his earlier experience as owner of a donut shop to add donuts to his bakery's product line.
Employees rolled and cut the yeast-raised products by hand, a reasonable task for the small batches of donuts the bakery began with. But before long, donut sales increased. Also, DiDio opened another Hopewell retail location. With the increased demand, employees were spending more time rolling and cutting the dough by hand. DiDio knew he needed to make production more efficient and turned immediately to LVO Mfg. Inc.
“LVO has been around for a long time, and they really have a good name and reputation when it comes to equipment quality,” DiDio says. “I knew that parts would be readily available, that service would be easy to come by, and I knew it was just a good company to deal with.”
DiDio purchased a 9-ft. LVO Mfg. production table with donut cutters, which greatly eased the labor load on his staff. “This machine makes it a lot easier on my donut guy, and saves him a lot of his arm strength in the process,” he says. “Before, he was having to beat down the dough with a rolling pin, dust it, roll it out again and again until he got it to the desired thickness. Now, he just drops the dough into the machine, gives it a few passes under the sheeter, and when he's happy with the thickness, he drops down the cutters and he's done.”
Maintenance on the production table is practically nonexistent, DiDio says. The stainless steel table only requires a wipe down as needed.
“Everything these days is computerized, and those machines have their place,” he says. “But for our purposes, we needed a very well-built, but simple, machine that you don't need to be a computer tech to operate or fix. If a part needs to be replaced, I know how to replace it without a computer diagnostic program.”
DiDio's production table has two sets of cutters; one for ring donuts and one for Bismark-shaped donuts. He is considering other shapes, including a triangular blade that will allow him to quickly produce laminated dough for an almond horn product.
The table also has potential for bread production, as a set of curling chains and pressure plates will allow for quick bread dough production and shaping. This versatility has DiDio contemplating products he hasn't previously produced. DiDio also notes the uniformity of the machine-sheeted doughs versus hand-sheeted and cut donuts.
“The number one thing is the production table makes the job easier and allows us to finish it in less time,” he says.
For more information about baking equipment from LVO Mfg. Inc., call 800/346-5749 or visit www.lvomfg.com