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  • Writer's pictureKarrie Brown

Wesco Bakery

Wesco is a family-owned business based in Muskegon, Michigan that has successfully blended tradition and innovation for over 70 years. Founded in the 1950’s by Bud Westgate, Wesco expanded from one gas station to 55 across the state. Now, the third generation is leading the company. Wesco took on fresh food production in the early 2000’s to provide a consistent and quality source of donuts, cookies and deli sandwiches for their stores. The business’ commitment to excellence is baked into their company culture and ensures fresh, delicious food and outstanding customer service all year.

Working for a family-owned business has its advantages. Wesco employees are not just part of a team; they are also part of a family. Shawn Beger, Senior Manufacturing Facility Manager, shared, “Leadership at Wesco cares about each person and takes the time to build relationships with each employee. We are intent on our effort to make employees feel appreciated, recognized and valued for their contributions to the company's success.”

This approach creates a sense of trust and loyalty among the employees, which translates to better job satisfaction and productivity.

“The majority of our employees have been here for more than 3 years, with many moving up into higher-skilled positions. Monthly goal setting and reviews means employees quickly see the impact of their professional development targets,” Shawn said.

He highlighted the monthly profit-sharing bonuses employees earn as they achieve those goals. Wesco is investing time and money into the team to strengthen their company, which they see as a key to success. The company has also seen the positive impact of an engaged and knowledgeable workforce, which makes them equipped to take on new challenges.

In 2022, Wesco consolidated several food processing operations into one state-of-the-art facility, looking to streamline processes and enhance their business.

“We expanded the footprint of production to over 60,000 square feet and brought distribution, bakery and deli operations under one roof. That created a lot of opportunities. Wesco is intentional about cross training employees, which grows their career potential quicker. It helped us increase the efficiency of fresh food production,” Shawn shared.

The food production arm of the company employs 107 people who are committed to producing high-quality foods for Wesco stores across Michigan. “We look for people with any kind of food experience, but really we look for people we can coach,” Shawn also said. “We help them gain new skills and knowledge to move up the ladder, and there is ongoing feedback to help them succeed. When employees succeed, the company succeeds.” Internal promotion and high retention show that they have found the ingredients for success.

The benefits of the production facility consolidation are worth celebrating, but Wesco is continuously looking to improve. “We keep our eyes on what the industry leaders are doing,” Shawn said. “Convenience store companies across the county have been recognized as top-tier, quick service restaurants, and that’s what we’re chasing. We want to be a food destination. In the years to come, we want Wesco to be the first thing that comes to mind for fresh baked goods, sandwiches, pizza and more.”

To achieve their goal, Wesco plans to increase the number of staff dedicated to quality, lean efficiencies, and other highly skilled roles. With a strong company culture committed to growth, teamwork and innovation, it's no surprise that Wesco sees such a bright future. To learn more about the company and see open positions, visit their website HERE.


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