Canada Bread buys into organic craft bread market


A Toronto baking firm that grows and contracts its own organic grains in eastern Ontario is going to be an entry point in the craft bread market for Canada Bread.

Canada Bread, the Canadian arm of Mexican baking giant Grupo Bimbo, announced Monday it had completed its deal to buy Stonemill Bakehouse Ltd. for an undisclosed sum.

Stonemill is billed as a leading producer of slow-fermented craft breads baked in stone ovens using “100 per cent natural, non-GMO-certified and organic ingredients.” The company produces breads in small, 200-kg dough batches and allows its doughs to ferment for up to 24 hours.

Stonemill produces its own grains at its farm in Prince Edward County, near Belleville, and contracts with growers in the area for organic rye and spelt.

The craft baking firm has said on its website it aims to have 2,000 acres under contract by 2018 for “sustainable, GMO-free, Ontario-grown grains.”

Stonemill, which has about 100 employees, operates a production facility in Scarborough and a store at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto.

Canada Bread said Monday the Stonemill deal will position it for “further growth, complementing its current product portfolio and its distribution and manufacturing footprint.”

Toronto-based Canada Bread, whose major brands include Dempster’s, Villaggio, Pom, Bon Matin, Ben’s, McGavins and Vachon, was majority-owned by Maple Leaf Foods until its takeover by Bimbo in 2014. — Network

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