World Grain - October 2021 - 42

FEATURE: CELEBRATING 125 YEARS IN PERSON
Crown Bakeries CEO
shares her unique
success story
As a little girl growing up in Texas,
Cordia Harrington loved going to
the local donut shop to pick up
a dozen donut holes - always
hoping that when she opened
the box there would be a baker's
dozen (13 donut holes) inside.
" I'd count them before I'd eat
one and was elated when there
would be 13 instead of 12, " she
recalled. " I just felt special getting
that extra one. "
Going the extra mile and giving
customers and associates
" more than they expect " are part
of a business and life philosophy
that that has made Harrington,
the chief executive officer and
founder of Crown Bakeries, one
of the leading entrepreneurs in
the United States.
Under Harrington's leadership,
Crown Bakeries has received
numerous awards and has been
recognized as one of the 50
fastest-growing, female-owned
businesses in the country. The
company produces more than
10 million baked foods daily and
employs more than 800, serving
elite customers such as McDonald's
in the United States, South
America and the Caribbean.
As the keynote speaker at the
IMEF Breakfast that kicked off the
125th International
Association
of Operative Millers (IAOM) Conference
and Expo in Little Rock,
Arkansas, US, on Aug. 31, she recalled
how Rick Siemer, president
of Teutopolis, Illinois, US-based
Siemer Milling Co., " went the extra
mile " to introduce her to the
baking industry.
Years ago, Harrington owned
a McDonald's franchise in nearby
Effingham, Illinois, but her dream
was to start a bakery that made
products for McDonald's. It took
42
four years and 32 interviews before
she finally convinced McDonald's
to give her that opportunity.
" I was getting ready to go to
Chicago for an interview, but before
that I went over to meet with
Rick in Teutopolis, " Harrington
said. " I had seminars with Red
(Tegeler) and Connie Barr about
wheat characteristics and learned
how important protein was in flour
for bakers. At the end of the day,
they took a picture of me wearing
a Siemer uniform in front of the
flour mill holding an autographed
baseball from St. Louis Cardinals
Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst.
I ended up taking it to the interview
with McDonald's, telling
them: 'I want to be your Hall of
Fame baker.' "
The rest is history. Harrington
was ranked 93rd on Forbes magazine's
list of 100 wealthiest selfmade
women in 2020. She was
named the Nashville Post's 2020
CEO of the Year and was inducted
into the American Society of
Baking Hall of Fame in February
2018. She received the Most
Admired CEO Lifetime Achievement
Award from the Nashville
Business Journal in 2017 and has
been recognized by many other
organizations for her entrepreneurial
spirit.
Another highlight came in
2007, when then-US President
George W. Bush visited Nashville,
Tennessee, US, where he planned
to unveil his tax benefit program
targeting small businesses. He
stopped at Harrington's Nashville
Bun Company (which later became
Crown Bakeries) because
it exemplified American entrepreneurial
success at the highest
level. After his visit to the bakery,
Bush spoke at a town hall
meeting where, according to the
White House archives, he told the
audience: " I have just come from
a small business here, the Nashville
Bun Company. And I know
that some of the employees from
the Nashville Bun Company are
here. Thank you for being here
today. It's quite an operation.
" I love going to small businesses
because the small business
sector of our economy is really
what drives new job growth. If the
small businesses are doing well in
America, America is doing well.
I want to thank the Harringtons
- good, solid Tennessee citizens
who are entrepreneurs, risk takers,
dreamers. "
The company's growth continues
even today, in the midst
of the worst global pandemic in
more than 100 years. Since 2020,
Crown Bakeries has added production
lines at its plants in Nashville
and Atlanta, Georgia, US,
and acquired four facilities.
No matter how successful her
business becomes, Harrington
said she will never forget how the
journey started so many years
ago in Central Illinois. With Rick
Siemer sitting in the audience
during her keynote address at the
IMEF breakfast, she thanked him
for helping her fulfill her dream.
" Rick was definitely a baker's
dozen for me, " she said. " His encouragement
was powerful. "
October 2021 / World Grain / World-Grain.com
http://www.World-Grain.com

World Grain - October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - October 2021

World Grain - October 2021 - Intro
World Grain - October 2021 - 1
World Grain - October 2021 - 2
World Grain - October 2021 - 3
World Grain - October 2021 - 4
World Grain - October 2021 - 5
World Grain - October 2021 - 6
World Grain - October 2021 - 7
World Grain - October 2021 - 8
World Grain - October 2021 - 9
World Grain - October 2021 - 10
World Grain - October 2021 - 11
World Grain - October 2021 - 12
World Grain - October 2021 - 13
World Grain - October 2021 - 14
World Grain - October 2021 - 15
World Grain - October 2021 - 16
World Grain - October 2021 - 17
World Grain - October 2021 - 18
World Grain - October 2021 - 19
World Grain - October 2021 - 20
World Grain - October 2021 - 21
World Grain - October 2021 - 22
World Grain - October 2021 - 23
World Grain - October 2021 - 24
World Grain - October 2021 - 25
World Grain - October 2021 - 26
World Grain - October 2021 - 27
World Grain - October 2021 - 28
World Grain - October 2021 - 29
World Grain - October 2021 - 30
World Grain - October 2021 - 31
World Grain - October 2021 - 32
World Grain - October 2021 - 33
World Grain - October 2021 - 34
World Grain - October 2021 - 35
World Grain - October 2021 - 36
World Grain - October 2021 - 37
World Grain - October 2021 - 38
World Grain - October 2021 - 39
World Grain - October 2021 - 40
World Grain - October 2021 - 41
World Grain - October 2021 - 42
World Grain - October 2021 - 43
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