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Open house tours at Voortman anniversary pull in crowds

Symbol ties Dutch heritage to bakery

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BURLINGTON, Ontario - It may have taken decades to get this far but Voortman’s gigantic bakery would need only sixteen working days to supply every one of North America’s 315 million people with a cookie. Recently, the highly automated plant as part of the company’s 50th anniversary open house, was the site of a steady flow of guided tours. Company co-founder Harry Voortman who was still in his teens when he and a brother started the business in 1951, was on hand, together with his wife Anna, to greet the public at the event.

For its official 50th, the company went be-yond the normal anniversary routine for such occasions which other times were restricted to employees and their families. Many of them, especially in the early years, shared Dutch roots with company founders. The open house occurred now since the plant had been undergoing work for a new wafer oven.

Voortman’s plant covers 250.000 square feet and is home to gi-gantic ovens, packaging facilities and shipping areas. The automated plant employs about 500 people. Trucks delivering Voortman products can be spotted all over, from large trailers to small trucks.

Among corporations, Voortman’s with its widely-known logo (a woman dressed in a “Volendam” costume) maintains a very strong connection with Dutch roots. The red logo is used on Voortman packaging, trucks and cookie huts found in stores throughout Canada and much of the USA.