Operating since 1987, Blue Raeven Farmstand LLC is located in Amity Oregon. The business includes a blueberry farm operation, a kitchen production facility, a retail location, and a branded product line. The company’s primary product line is a wide range of handmade fruit pies that are made and sold out of the Amity retail location.
The current pie manufacturing operation could be characterized as a retail kitchen facility. Recently, Blue Raeven Farmstand had attracted the attention of a large upscale grocery chain. The company was in a position to grow significantly as a result of this interest. However, the small kitchen based operation was not capable of supporting the increased demand this would bring. Additionally the kitchen production operation presented a challenge for the level of regulatory compliance typically required by the consumer product market channel. Finally, the retail location in Amity was landlocked and offered no expansion capability.
OMEP provided a combination of training, coaching and consulting to help Blue Raeven Farmstand LLC meet its rapid growth, operational challenges, and customer service needs. With an emphasis on lean fundamentals, OMEP supported Blue Raeven with a focus on site evaluation, facility preparation, new plant layout, and equipment selection to realize capacity gains, maintain first time, improve on-time delivery, quality, reduce working inventories, and improve order to cash cycles. Site and equipment investment approach $120,000.
Upon commissioning the new baking facility in McMinnville, the newly formed Blue Raeven Pie Company was capable of producing 100 pies per day upon start up. All seven jobs were retained to support the new operation. Within three months of operation, the business had realized the capability of 800 pies per day without requiring overtime. This new facility output was more than double the output of the Farmstand kitchen operation resulting in a labor cost savings of more than $200,000. The additional capability has resulted in $275,000 in sales and the opportunity to significantly grow the business with new accounts.
OMEP has helped Blue Raeven tremendously through our time of expansion. Having the outside opinion and guidance gave Blue Raeven the opportunity to grow into the wholesale industry successfully.