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A Brief History


In 1972, The Bryan Brother’s Packing Company, the forerunner to Bryan Foods, had an idea for a spice operation. Over the next five years, plans were formulated to bring this idea to fruition.

In April 1977, the plant known as FlavoTech was opened. There were many advantages:

- For the first time, Bryan Foods knew and controlled their proprietary spice formulations and had all the input for developing them.
- They were assured there was a consistency of flavor, texture and color of their finished product.
- Service was literally just around the corner. Shorter lead time, emergencies, production schedule changes were all easier to deal with.
                - There was no need to carry inventory, so dollars and space were minimized.
                - And there was the benefit of an internal Profit Center

After four years, in 1981, an additional 5,300 square feet of warehouse space was added.

The primary purpose of FlavoTech remained for many years the servicing of Bryan Foods and its subsidiaries. As Bryan began work with other Sara Lee entities, product was shipped to these other plants.

In 1993, the opportunity of selling product outside the corporation was looked at as a viable undertaking and a vision was proposed to expand the external portion of the business and capitalize on the equipment capabilities, while still maintaining the primary purpose of servicing Bryan Foods. In so doing, an added benefit was that the increase of purchase of raw materials would hopefully mean better internal pricing and thus reduce the cost of Bryan ingredients. Additionally, labor and overhead costs would be spread over more volume, further lowering the cost to Bryan.

The real niche that FlavoTech enjoyed was the ability to custom blend and custom pack, a task most larger companies either do not want to undertake, or could not feasibly afford to address economically, especially to smaller customers.. The plant operates a variety of mixers, and the method of mixing and packing can be adjusted in a wide number of instances. Packing freshly blended product, exactly to the customer’s batch size saves them time, money, effort, standardizes the batch, saves inventory dollars and warehouse space, increases turns and reduces waste.

In 1999, the Sara Lee Corporation undertook a study with the purpose to “significantly reduce the number of spice suppliers”. At the time, 42 different companies provided seasoning product to the various meat facilities. Throughout the year 2000, studies were made and in November of 2000 a presentation to senior management was made. The decision to close the spice blending room at Claryville and move it to FlavoTech was the first significant recognition of the capabilities of the plant.

In April of 2001, the first products were transferred, and over the next five years FlavoTech grew to truly be The Sara Lee Spice and Seasoning Company.

However, in January 2007, as Sara Lee was in the midst of a complete restructuring, all production facilities in West Point, MS were closed, which included FlavoTech. After careful consideration and consultation with a wide range of customers, the employees, working with the City of West Point re-opened the plant as Magnolia Seasoning. It utilizes the same building, the same equipment and many of the same employees.