Meet my husband Paul as this is his blog debut here in Frannywanny.com and expect to hear more from him in the coming days, months and years!
When Fran asked me if I want to join a group of bloggers to a trip to visit the Gardenia Plant, my first question was "who will be there?" While my wife is truly an extrovert where you can just let her go anywhere and expect that she'll make friends in a snap of a finger, I am rather shy and can stay quiet the entire day. I guess despite our differences, this is also where we somehow complement one another. Fran assured me that our friends Richard, Irene, Rowena and Jane will be there so I immediately agreed for her to confirm my attendance.
I am very much aware of Gardenia as this is what my mom would buy for us before. Personally, I like the Black Forest flavor as it satisfies my chocoholic taste buds alternating with the Ube-Cheese variant too. I've always been curious how they make their breads and the speed it takes knowing that they have to supply a huge quantity everyday. Well, this trip is a perfect opportunity for me to learn more about Gardenia.
Allow me to take you through a short photo tour around the Gardenia plant:
This is the first stop of our tour, we saw how this machine can divide and mix the flour and other ingredients.
As we move along, this machine cuts and divides the dough into round shapes. This ensures that all bread weights the same and note that this is done by an automated machine and not by human hands. There's actually a sensor that double-checks if all dough gets the same volume.
After which, the dough will be placed in a rectangular pan and baked to perfection.
The bread definitely comes out piping hot after baking and it gets transmitted to this cooling cylinder to lower its temperature. Did you know that this cylinder came from Japan and is made of the same material used in the traditional Samurai sword. This is because this particular material speeds up the cooling process making it perfect to the requirements of Gardenia Bakeries.
By this time, the bread is almost ready to be consumed but, of course, it had to be sliced equally and packed properly. In this machine, the special G-Lock is also attached which is unique to Gardenia only. These plastic locks are color-coordinated depending on the day of its production which helps consumers easily identify and ensure the freshness of the bread.
The last stop is the Distribution Center where the freshly baked Gardenia breads gets stored and later on sent to its distributors all over the country. Gardenia Bakeries actually have a huge distribution network as it covers the entire Luzon archipelago, Eastern and Western parts of Visayas and even in some parts of Mindanao. To ensure that their customers from the Visayas and Mindanao regions get freshly baked Gardenia breads too, they have opened a plant in Cebu to cover the market in Cebu, Bohol and in the northern parts of Mindanao.
I have to agree with Gardenia's tagline which is "So good...you can eat it on its own." Nothing beats soft, warm bread that's literally fresh out of the oven. Our tour ended with a short demo on the different recipes that you can create with your loaf of Gardenia bread. I'm sure Fran would have enjoyed it had she been with us that day. Luckily, I was able to bring home some samples for her to try and just as I've predicted, she enjoyed it immensely. Looks like we will be having some fun sandwiches in the coming days. ;)
I am only aware of a few Gardenia flavors such as the regular Gardenia Classic and my favorites -- Black Forest and the Double Delights Ube and Cheese bread. I was surprised that they have a rack filled with all sorts of flavors from Butterscotch, to High Fiber Wheat Raisin bread and even muffins! Definitely perfect for families with kids.
More interesting facts about Gardenia Bakeries:
- The company originated in Singapore and later on expanded to the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia.
- To ensure freshness, the bread stays on the shelf for only a day and all unsold loaves get pulled out and sent back to the factory.
- They have breads that's perfect for your health needs such as the High Fiber Whole Wheat Bread, High Calcium Milk Bread and the Slim n Fit Wheaten Bread
- They actually have a cute-looking mascot named Gardee.
- The Gardenia Double Delight Ube-Cheese bread is only available here in the Philippines.
- From the factory, the breads are delivered via their big trucks and once arriving at their local distributions points these will be transported via a smaller Gardenia truck. The logistical system is amazing!
This trip has made me appreciate Gardenia bread even more knowing that they prioritize sanitation and freshness in all products. I'm glad I was able to be part of this tour as I enjoyed the Gardenia Bakery Plant in Laguna.
Till my next blog entry!!