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IOI Loders Croklaan Group, Wormerveer, the Netherlands, showed off its Creative Studio in Channahon, Ill. (right), to the media and other guests during a grand opening event on Sept. 5. It is the company’s third Creative Studio and its first in the United States.
The facility occupies the first floor of a $3.5 million, 16,000-sq.-ft., two-story building that also houses IOI Loders Croklaan Americas’ headquarters. The 8,000-sq.-ft. space is divided into a “welcome” area, a “generate” area with meeting rooms and a “create” area with two equipment-filled labs—Studio One for baking (below) and Studio Two for confectionery.
On hand for the ribbon cutting were Bill Troy, chief operating officer; Tim Surin, director, sales and marketing; Maarten Goos, marketing manager; and Kevin Miller, all of IOI Loders Croklaan Americas. Also present for the event was Julian Veitch, CEO of IOI Loders Croklaan Group.
“We’re not the first to introduce a customer-driven creative concept, but we think this [facility] has some differences,” Surin said. “This one has a very relaxed environment. It’s built with a ‘thought’ side and an ‘action’ side. Customers come in here, have some coffee and sit down for a discussion with us. We want them to talk about their short- and long-term objectives and how we can help them create new ideas.”
Following the ribbon cutting, attendees were given tours of the studios and treated to a baking demonstration by chef Mindy Segal, owner of HotChocolate, a restaurant and dessert bar in Chicago.