Wichita bakery to close, leaving more than 100 out of work

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WICHITA,Kan. -- A Wichita bakery is preparing to close its doors, leaving more than 100 people without jobs.

The Bimbo Bakery, formerly the Rainbow Bakery, told its employees Monday that it will shut down February 24th.

The company operates two shifts at the bakery at 2530 Southeast Drive and a large distribution center at 4525 South Palisade.

Bimbo produces bread and buns under different names employing about 118 workers.

The company, headquartered in Horsham, Pennsylvania, issued a statement saying this was a difficult decision.

An employee who did not want to be identified says the work here will be moving to a modern plant built in the last five years in Topeka. The company wouldn't comment on that but did say the work in Wichita would be going to other Bimbo facilities, calling the Wichita facility outdated.

The statement from the company said, "We concluded that the age of the equipment and the building and the outdated level of technology make the bakery unable to compete effectively in the marketplace going forward."

The statement said the closing will have no impact on customer service.

The company said it is working with the union in helping those 118 workers with severance and benefits.

KAKE news contacted the union representing the workers at the Wichita bakery, The Bakers, Confectioners and Tobacco Workers Local 218 based in Kansas City. The union confirmed the Wichita bakery is union and the Topeka bakery is non union. The union spokesperson said, as of Tuesday, the Wichita workers had not been offered jobs at any other Bimbo facility.

Workers would not go on camera and the company would not comment beyond the released statement.

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