Now opening: a freezer near you.
Flanagan's Sudbury connection has been in growth mode ever since the facility first opened in 1991. And now, the foodservice centre—officially located in the community of Lively—is experiencing its third expansion in two decades.
The new addition will almost double the freezer capacity. The project, which has been anticipated for a couple of years, sees the freezer grow from the current 10,000 square feet, to a total of 18,000 square feet, says general manager Earl Dahl, who has been with Flanagan's northern operation since 1992, and has been involved with every expansion effort. He's lived in Sudbury since 1969. The Sudbury centre serves a wide-spread area of Northern Ontario, from Parry Sound to the south, Thunder Bay to the west, Hearst and Hornepayne to the north, and Mattawa, to the east.
The expansion project is now underway, and is targeted for completion by May 31.
Flanagan's bought the property adjacent to the Lively facility two years ago, to allow for the expansion. The two early growth modes were somewhat disruptive of daily operations, recalls Dahl, because they involved the removal of walls. In this case, the addition adjoins the existing facility, no walls will be coming down, and business is proceeding exactly as usual.
Flanagan's opened the Sudbury operation as a 24,000 square foot facility. It expanded in 2000, and again in 2005. Overall, the current Lively facility covers 31,000 square feet; when the addition it complete, it will comprise 39,000 square feet of space. The new project reflects the recent growth pattern - it is bigger than originally planned, when the property was acquired.
The focus of the addition is the freezer expansion, although over 1,000 square feet of dry space is also included. And it is very much needed, says Dahl. "Right now, there's not enough room to carry everything we need."
Currently, there is a Flanagan shipment from Kitchener to Sudbury five days a week; Dahl anticipates that two or three of these trucks can be eliminated, with the new capacity. The General Manager says the addition will allow for a more efficient operation in Sudbury, and that customer satisfaction - already highly rated - will improve even more.
Flanagan's Sudbury operation now employs 52 people - staff has grown ever since the facility was opened, 20 years ago, with some added in the last year. Dahl says the expansion will again create additional jobs.
He notes, too, that Flanagan's customer base in growing in the northern Ontario area served by the Lively operation. There are several factors in this. Dahl notes that "we've had chain clients come on board over the last two or three years."
As well, he says, "the general market up here has improved," and Flanagan has been successful in capturing a larger market share.
With business growing—and the facility growing to meet those demands—Dahl sums up life in Lively: "It's busy."