Bakers Journal

How Bay State Milling is breaking barriers in baking

February 14, 2023
By Bay State Milling

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The 125-year-old company is the only 100 per cent women-owned flour mill in the United States

One of the nation's largest plant-based ingredient suppliers, the 125-year-old company is the only 100 per cent women-owned flour mill in the United States, with a 40 per cent female executive leadership team. Photo: Bay State Milling

Women have always had a say in the foods on their families’ plates, with 80 per cent of food buying decisions made by women globally. But when it comes to business, fewer than 20 per cent of senior leadership positions are held by women across every segment of the food and beverage industry, according to Females in Food.

Bay State Milling is on a mission to change this statistic. One of the nation’s largest plant-based ingredient suppliers, the 125-year-old company is the only 100 per cent women-owned flour mill in the United States, with a 40 per cent female executive leadership team.

But it wasn’t until Bay State Milling ramped up its innovation in nutrition and agriculture that top female talent began joining the team at a rapid pace. In fact, Colleen Zammer, Vice President of Varietal Solutions Growth & Corporate Innovation, remembers that when she learned about Bay State Milling’s mission to bring value and better nutrition to consumers through wholesome ingredients, she knew it was a company worth working for.

Today, Zammer works within Bay State Milling’s newest business unit – called Varietal Solutions – which brings new-to-the-world ingredients with inherently more nutrition to the industry.

Since then, Bay State Milling has experienced exponential growth, due in part to the continued adoption of its ingredients like HealthSense® High Fiber Wheat Flour and SowNaked™ Oats.

And recently, the company expanded its operations from the U.S. to Canada to bring better-for-you ingredients to as many businesses – and kitchen tables – as possible.

It’s no surprise that Bay State Milling’s priorities are paying off. According to McKinsey’s latest Women in the Workplace report, organizations with significant female representation in their upper ranks can expect to see an increase in company profits and share performance by nearly 50 per cent .

Yet, for the women of Bay State Milling, female leadership improves much more than just the bottom line. Inviting women, mothers and daughters into conversations around nutrition brings a fresh perspective to the industry. As empathetic, purposeful leaders, women understand how food impacts the home – and just how much nutrition plays a role in development.

Inviting women, mothers and daughters into conversations around nutrition brings a fresh perspective to the industry. Photo: Bay State Milling

Together, Zammer, along with Jillian Wishman (Senior Manager of Strategic Marketing), Jennifer Robinson (Vice President of Corporate Quality Assurance) and Vanessa Brovelli (Director of Research & Development), are working to change the food system through the commercialization of HealthSense® High-Fiber Wheat Flour.

With up to 10 times the fiber of traditional wheat, HealthSense® is making prebiotic fiber and its digestive and gut health benefits more accessible – which women often lack the most. The high-fiber flour has made its way into foods across the grocery store from all-purpose flours like Flourish to ice cream cones from Enlightened and Noodles & Company’s Leanguini.

Most recently, Bay State Milling hired Nicole Gasaway to fill its inaugural Chief People and Impact Officer position. Gasaway is working to grow the company’s talent and bring even more diversity “for the greater good of the team.” She recognizes that her experiences as a woman help foster a collaborative environment instead of a competitive one, which creates the perfect circumstances for successful innovation.

Whether your company is looking to create a new product or refresh an existing one, Bay State Milling invites you to join them in providing greater access to healthy, delicious and responsibly sourced and produced food ingredients for all. Learn more at www.baystatemilling.com.


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