Heartland Baking Co., LLC, Santa Rosa, Calif., says that a tough economy has prompted it to close its bakery in Du Quoin, Ill., costing 31 jobs. 

Heartland Baking Co., LLC, Santa Rosa, Calif., says it has closed its Du Quoin bakery one Dec. 16.The bakery is a fourth-generation descendent of what began in the early 1990s as the General Henry Biscuit Co., founded by namesakes Ray and Darlene Henry.

During peak baking seasons, the plant employed as many as 90 people. “We are disappointed to announce that our Du Quoin bakery will close,” stated Mike Swanson, director of operations. Customers were notified so as to transition suppliers. “The economics of the private-label cookie in-store bakery business have been difficult, given the price of fuel and other inflationary pressures that affect overall profitability,” Swanson said. “Our people have put forth their best effort and have been very productive in our quest to reduce costs at this facility. In the end, however, we have been unable to overcome the financial dynamics.”

The “cookie factory” took on the name Heartland Baking USA in late 2006.The vision was to produce great tasting cookies for the supermarket industry with the same superior flavor and taste that made-to-order cookies deliver, but with a significantly longer shelf life.