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Busken Bakery ends 14-year doughnut run at United Dairy Farmers

UDF invests $11M its own donut production line
FREE doughnuts on National Doughnut Day Friday
Posted at 5:00 AM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 05:00:04-04

CINCINNATI — Here’s one way the cookie crumbles: United Dairy Farmers has decided to make its own doughnuts, sharply curtailing a 30-year business relationship with another famous Cincinnati brand.

”There’s no animosity here. It’s just the natural growth of their business,” Busken Bakery vice president Brian Busken said. His family-owned bakery has supplied roughly 130 UDF stores with fresh doughnuts daily for seven years and spent another seven test-driving the idea in a smaller number of stores, he added.

UDF is investing $11 million in a new Kemper Road "fresh Foods" facility that will create 30 new jobs and employ about 50 people, said Mark Wilson, corporate head of human resources for the convenience store chain. It's part of an ongoing strategy to improve fresh food offerings in UDF stores.

"Our first product offering from this new endeavor will be a UDF-developed proprietary line of donuts which will launch this fall," Wilson added. "We've enjoyed our partnership selling donuts with Busken. They have a great brand and have really helped UDF grow our bakery business."

Busken will continue to provide UDF with cookies, brownies and other baked goods, but it will lose about 95 percent of the revenue it now gets from UDF.

That will force an undetermined number of layoffs, but Busken said it could make the business stronger by eliminating a high-volume, low-margin product line.

“We were fortunate to have the business,” Busken said. “We learned a lot from it, and it really kind of inspired us to get back to our core, which is the retail business.”

Construction crews have started demolition work at 7745 E. Kemper Road. Sycamore Township records show about one third of the 45,000-square-foot facility will remain office space.

The rest will be full of dough mixers, sheet cutters, fry stations, jelly fillers and speed icers, based on plans submitted by Hixson Inc.

The project fills a vacancy in that single-story office complex. The employee benefits firm Comp Management once had more than 40 employees in the space, said Darrin Armbruster, managing director Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, which listed the property.

Comp Management was acquired by Sedgwick, a rival claims management company. It relocated employees to Lake Forest Drive in 2013 as part of a regional expansion that brought more than 100 new jobs to Blue Ash.