CHARLOTTE, NC — After 90 years in business, Carolina Foods, a Charlotte, NC-based commercial bakery known for its Duchess Honey Buns, donuts, pastries and pies, held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting for its new facility in Pineville, NC.

The event united employees, industry leaders and civic dignitaries to commemorate the company’s milestone anniversary and prospects for the future. Key attendees included Carolina Foods board members; Bill Lovette, board chair for Carolina Foods at Falfurria Capital Partners; the Scarborough family, which founded the company in 1934; and Pineville Mayor David Phillips.

The 428,000-square-foot facility sits on 40 acres, granting Carolina Foods the space for ample growth into the future.

“It is truly exciting to be here today at the beginning of our next 90 years,” said Dan Myers, CEO and board director of Carolina Foods. “This pivotal milestone symbolizes a new era and the culmination of decades of dedication and commitment to the customers we serve.”


An inside look at the new bakery

Myers shared that the company invested in environmental control for the facility, meaning in any space where there are raw ingredients or a “naked Honey Bun,” the company has measures in place such as air purification and controls for temperature and humidity.

The Pineville facility has two lines: one currently making product and one in commission, set to be up and running by the close of Q2. A third line will be installed, commissioned and running by the end of Q3.

“In 2025, we will complete the project, putting in four additional lines, many of which will be lines that are currently operational in the old bakery that we repurpose to this bakery,” Myers continued. “In total, we’ll have seven lines: two very large Honey Bun lines, three donut lines and two pie.”

Upon completion, Carolina Foods will be able to nearly double its capacity. In addition to the manufacturing lines, the baking company also has 20 packaging lines, which give it the flexibility to put product into a format that customers request or consumers demand.

“This pivotal milestone symbolizes a new era and the culmination of decades of dedication and commitment to the customers we serve.”
— Dan Myers | CEO | Carolina Foods


In-house innovation

In addition to making its own products, Carolina Foods serves as a private label and contract manufacturer. To support this work and the baking company’s customers, the bakery’s new facility includes a test kitchen and currently, due to the transfer of operations from the original bakery located in the historic South End neighborhood of Charlotte, is able to scale up on a real product line.

With staff including food scientists and graphic designers, Carolina Foods innovates with its customers to take products from concept to store shelf all in-house.

The baking company’s new facility is jam-packed with automation and robotics, all of which provide support to the bakery’s employees and supply data for key process controls to ensure product and process specification. The equipment also grants Carolina Foods the ability to blend all ingredients and formulate coatings in-house. Key partners for Carolina Foods on the equipment side include Schubert, Rexfab, Pfening, Moline, IJ White, Topos Mondial, Royal Houdijk and Mettler Toledo.

 In addition to bolstering capacity and production potential, these technology investments also support Carolina Foods’ workforce.

“The investment in technology has taken on a lot of jobs that were very repetitive, very manual, and turned them into higher skilled jobs where they’re adding value through the knowledge base and their quality focus,” Myers noted. “We have a line out there today whose output is twice what the output is in the existing bakery, and we use just under the same number of people for twice the volume.”


The next 90 years

Between its two facilities, Carolina Foods has approximately 420 employees ranging from hourly to managerial workers. By the end of 2025, Myers shared that the company anticipates to have approximately 435-450 team members.

With the new bakery’s 10-mile proximity to the South End location, Carolina Foods is able to retain its team members, who when surveyed, a high percentage said they were willing to commute to Pineville.

Over time, production will move from the South End bakery to the new facility, with all operations expected to phase out at the end of 2025. At the end of this year, Carolina Foods will vacate its warehouse, currently housed about three miles from the company’s original South End bakery, and consolidate it into the new facility.

As Carolina Foods transitions out of its old facility and grows into the new, the baking company is set to continue creating an assortment of baked goods, including nearly a million Honey Buns every day.