Partnership with Mi Pan
Passion for Puerto Rico
Tucked away in the small town of Sabana Seca, Puerto Rico, about 20 miles west of San Juan, lives the Mi Pan bakery. Founded in 1973, the bakery became a pioneer in the industry when they introduced frozen dough on the island early on and today produces a variety of breads and pastries throughout Puerto Rico.
But entering the Mi Pan facility feels like more than walking into a regular workplace - it feels like you’re entering the home of a welcoming family. From the front desk to the bakery floor to the offices of upper management, the chemistry between the employees is palpable. And this energy starts all the way at the top with Mi Pan Vice President Alfonso Labeaga.
On my first visit to the bakery, I was given a tour of the facilities by Mr. Labeaga himself. As we zigzagged through the facility, Alfonso’s kindness and humble demeanour shows as he personally greets each of his employees and often includes a small tidbit about each one as they’re introduced, information only a good friend would know. Alfonso is dedicated to keeping the sense of family at Mi Pan strong.
When Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017, this professional family was shaken. Most employees were affected in some way and at least ten of Alfonso’s employees lost absolutely everything in the storm that devastated the island.
„Hurricane Maria impacted various parts of our building but we didn’t pay too much attention to that damage. The most impact was sustained by our employees, which are the most important to us and the company.“
Alfonso Labeaga, Vice President of Mi Pan
Since the storm, a popular hashtag has emerged from the rubble of devastation: #PRSeLevanta – “Puerto Rico lifts itself up”. And that is exactly what the Mi Pan family did, Alfonso leading the effort. He donated hundreds of dollars in supplies for his employees, from toiletries to canned food to sweet treats. The staff worked tirelessly during the day to get the plant up and running smoothly again and spent evenings and weekends helping each other rebuild their personal lives, some literally helping others rebuild their destroyed homes.
“With the ability to run generators and our new FRITSCH line, we were able to offer products to our clients as well as our competition,” Alfonso said. “The FRITSCH line was speedy, efficient, and continued to produce high-quality products. This also allowed the staff to continue working and generating their income, which was sorely needed at the time. Thanks to the FRITSCH line and the commitment of our staff we were able to continue working as usual, even throughout road damage, heavy traffic, lack of diesel on the island, and many more barriers. The FRITSCH line helped us produce more bread to supply our customers and help our employees and support the community that desperately needed it at that time”.
Mi Pan Asociados
Mi Pan, which translates to “my bread”, has distinguished itself as a family business with a strong sense of values. Each and every one of their associates is dedicated to the Mi Pan mission of providing fresh, high quality bread to the people of Puerto Rico and beyond. Thanks to the efficient FRITSCH machinery utilised in the bakery, Mi Pan has become one of the fastest and most modern-frozen bakery plants in the Caribbean – producing over 20,000 lbs of high-quality bread per hour of operation. The FRITSCH/Mi Pan partnership has helped both parties serve one goal: perfect production and continuing to serve the people of Puerto Rico. This is in line with FRITSCH’s devotion with their practiced values of partnership, passion, and responsibility.