HAZLETON, PA — Aspire Bakeries celebrated its remodeled Hazleton, PA, bakery and Pennant Puff Pastry production line with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Feb. 22 with state and local dignitaries, members of the Hazleton community, Aspire Bakeries associates and executive leadership, and the facility’s workforce in attendance.

The 113,000-square-foot bakery is one of 13 Aspire Bakeries facilities in North America. It opened its doors in 1992 and has since grown to employ 150 associates. Since 2018, this bakery has been the recipient of the American Bakers Association’s Workplace Safety Award. The facility was also one of the first Aspire Bakeries locations to convert to all LED lights and has achieved a 97% waste diversion rate.

“This bakery has an incredible, long history,” said Tyson Yu, CEO of Aspire Bakeries. “Many associates have been here for 10 or 20 years, or since the beginning, and this is the best this bakery has looked. Well done to the entire team.”


The addition of the line expands the production of Pennant Puff Pastry and is indicative of Aspire Bakeries’ continued growth in North America as well as the company’s ability to innovate and disrupt the puff pastry segment.

“What frozen puff pastry dough offers is a blank slate,” said Chris Jakubek, sales director for Aspire Bakeries. “We’re virtually limitless with the creativity that goes into the recipes that chefs can create across any daypart.”

While the bakery produces custom baked goods for customers, the expansion represents a revitalization for Pennant Puff Pastry, an 85-year-old brand known for its high-quality, versatile frozen French puff pastry sheets that allow foodservice operators and chefs to make their own sweet and savory creations.

“Today is a great day for Pennant,” said Beau Netzer, Aspire Bakeries’ chief commercial officer, foodservice. “This brand has an 85-year history of delighting pastry chefs and their consumers. It’s an old-school product, and the investments that we’ve made here are allowing us to relaunch Pennant Puff Pastry and re-introduce puff pastry to the next generation of chefs and bakers.”

“This expansion brings opportunity for the company and the community. The state-of-the-art line allows us to meet increasing demand for Pennant Puff Pastry in the foodservice industry, introduce new innovations and continue to grow.” — Tyson Yu | CEO | Aspire Bakeries


Part of the brand revitalization is Pennant’s new website, which launched in tandem with the ribbon cutting. In addition to a digital recipe book that offers culinary inspiration, the site also includes step-by-step tips and techniques for technical applications, and an FAQ page for troubleshooting common production challenges such as oven temperatures, thawing challenges and egg wash use, among others.

“There are so many educational tools on the website,” said Lisa Papaloni, Aspire Bakeries’ director of strategy, marketing and innovation. “When chefs are working with the product, questions can come up, so there’s a whole section to help address those with instant solutions.”  

Pennant Puff Pastry offers nearly a dozen SKUs of French puff pastry, and the Hazleton bakery will have the capability to produce multiple sizes, formats and configurations.

“This expansion brings opportunity for the company and the community,” Yu said. “The state-of-the-art line allows us to meet increasing demand for Pennant Puff Pastry in the foodservice industry, introduce new innovations and continue to grow. We’re so proud of this beloved pastry brand. Now, we’re getting back to the culinary roots that Pennant has represented as the ‘French puff pastry in the green box.’”


The decision to expand the facility wasn’t taken lightly, and it required an all-hands-on-deck approach.

“It’s important that we celebrate how we’ve expanded this bakery,” said Shawn Cancerius, bakery director at the Hazleton facility. “Everyone — including the engineering team, the maintenance team, the production team and our associates — should be proud of what we’ve accomplished here.” 

The innovation at the Hazleton plant is indicative of what Aspire Bakeries has accomplished since its inception in 2021, when ARYZTA North America became Aspire Bakeries after the sale to private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg.

The company name reflects its original mission, to move upward. With such iconic brands in its portfolio, Aspire Bakeries is known for innovation with products that also have familiarity such as La Brea Bakery breads and Otis Spunkmeyer cookies.