A Lot of Bread
Baking company prospers, thanks in part to National Bank of Arizona
By Debra Gelbart
Alpine Valley Bread began as a tiny bakery in east Mesa in 1997, with owner Todd Wood handling all of the bread-making responsibilities and his family working in the front of the store.
Today, Wood and his wife Andrea employ 250 people who bake tens of thousands of loaves of all-natural and organic non-GMO bread every day in two spacious, state-of-the-art facilities totaling 100,000 square feet in central Mesa.
The couple’s big break came shortly after they opened that first location when representatives of both Costco and Fry’s Food Stores stopped by and asked if the Woods wanted to sell their products in their stores.
“After that our business took off,” Wood said, adding that he grew his company steadily over the next six years and then decided it was time to focus mainly on wholesaling bread to retail stores.
Wood believes the right financial partner can make all the difference in how successfully a business transitions to a higher volume of production. “National Bank of Arizona and our banker, Peter Duran, understand the needs of a small to medium-sized business like ours and they have been instrumental in making sure we have all the resources we need to expand our business.”
NB|AZ saves the company as much as $9,000 a year by eliminating checking account fees, Wood said, compared to what he would be paying at a larger bank. A medium-size bank like NB|AZ is nimble enough and responsive enough to offer the tools and services that businesses like his really need.
In 2008, Wood and Andrea completed the process of making their business organic-certified and moved the operation to a larger location. The company sells breads. “Once we became organic-certified, doors opened everywhere because there is such high demand for healthy, organic breads,” he said. Not long after that, they moved into their present location.
“We appreciate NBAZ being there for us as we continue to grow. It’s a great relationship.”