Smart Baking Company plans to move its HQ from Sanford to DeBary. Its line of gluten-free baked goods includes CBD-infused cakes.
A fast-growing commercial baker of gluten-free and low-carb baked goods including CBD-infused cakes plans to move its headquarters from Sanford to southwest Volusia County early next year.
Smart Baking Company recently agreed to lease a 50,000-square-foot space at Springview Commerce Park in DeBary.
The space will become the new home for both the company’s corporate offices as well as a mixing plant for its low-carb, zero sugar and gluten-free baked goods, confirmed CEO Harvey Heuvel, in a phone interview.
The company, which currently employs 85 workers, plans to initially bring 40 jobs to its soon-to-be new location in DeBary, and is expecting to add another 40 by the end of next year, Heuvel said.
The company also recently launched a line of “Smart Cakes Plus Hemp CBD” baked goods made with hemp-derived cannabidiol oil.
“We’re on a fast-track to get this going,” said Heuvel of his company’s upcoming move.
Heuvel said construction work has already begun on the space at 290 Springview Commerce Drive in DeBary.
The space at Springview Commerce Park, which takes up half of a 100,000-square-foot multiple-tenant building, was last occupied by a business called The Folding Sliding Door Company, according to Roger Van Auker, director of the city’s transit-oriented development district.
The building’s other tenants include RAD Gymnastics, Central 28 Beer Company and Assured Relocation Services Inc.
“We hope to be in the building in either January or February (2020) and to start operations in either February or March,” Heuvel said.
Heuval, who lives in Lake Mary, said his company decided to move its headquarters to DeBary to accommodate its growing business, which has seen its annual revenues grow to $11 million last year.
Incorporated four years ago, Smart Baking Company brought its first products to market in January 2016, generating between $300,000 and $400,000 in sales its first year, according an article recently published by NewHope.com, a Colorado-based website that covers news about the “healthy lifestyle products industry.”
The company last year saw its revenues grow to $11 million, resulting in its being named the Orlando area’s fastest-growing private company by the Orlando Business Journal and one of the top 50 “second-stage” companies to watch in Florida by GrowFL.
The addition of the space in DeBary will double Smart Baking Company’s operations. It currently occupies space in two locations in Sanford: an 18,000-square-foot warehouse space that serves as its “fulfillment center” and a 30,000-square-foot space at 297 Power Court that currently serves as its headquarters and production plant.
The future headquarters in DeBary is roughly a 4 1/2-mile drive to the north of the company’s production plant.
“Moving our offices to DeBary frees up more space at both locations in Sanford,” said Heuvel, who added that his company intends to continue leasing those locations as well.
Heuvel is a Dutch national who worked as a technology executive for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and later for a Dutch newspaper called De Telegraaf prior to moving to Florida with his family.
He and his family ran a pair of restaurants in Winter Haven for several years called I Amsterdam Panini Cafe and I Am Pasta Cafe.
They switched their focus to developing their own line of gluten-free and low-carb baked goods after receiving numerous requests from customers.
That eventually led to the creation of Smart Baked Company.
“We’re not a regular bakery,” Heuvel said. “We use a gluten-free and carbohydrate-free mix that uses no sugar and no starches.”
Heuvel said he and his family found while there was a great demand for gluten-free, low-carb cakes and buns, thanks to the growing popularity of the Keto diet and other low-carb diets, “when you go to health food, it often doesn’t taste that great. We worked on improving the taste” (of Smart Baking Company’s products).
“We believe our food is the greatest-tasting (gluten-free, low-carb baked goods) out there.”
Eneas Ceku, the grocery buyer for the Love Whole Foods market in Ormond Beach, said Smart Baking Company’s Smart Cakes and Smart Buns “sell incredibly well.”
“I love them,” he said. “The cakes are very tasty and super light, almost like cotton candy, but with the flavor of a cupcake or muffin.”
A two-pack of Smart Cakes, which come in five different flavors, sells for $2.99 while a six-pack of Smart Buns, which come in the size of a hamburger bun, retails for $7.99 at Love Whole Foods.
The CBD cakes, which the store recently started carrying, sells for $3.69 a pack, he said.
Other stores in Volusia County that carry Smart Baking Company products include Debbie’s Healthfoods, DeLand Bakery Market, Growan Fitness and Nanna Maria’s Pizzeria.
Heuvel said his company’s products are available at more than 1,000 healthfood stores and stores that specialize in organics. The bulk of the company’s sales are made via the Internet, both through the Smart Baking Company website as well as through Amazon.
The company decided to add a line of CBD-infused cakes at the request of customers.
While the cakes are made with CBD oil, they are “THC-free. You can’t get high eating our cakes,” Heuvel said. “But a lot of people have pain and our CBD cakes can bring some relief.”
Heuvel said the company’s manufacturing operations in DeBary will be largely automated, incorporating the use of robotics.
He said he was not able to say at this time how much the jobs created in DeBary will pay, but said they are “not going to be typical minimum-wage jobs.”
Heuvel said his company plans to invest more than $1 million to get its future headquarters and mixing plant up and running.
And although the company is not in line to receive any economic incentives at this time, he said he intends to look into finding out what may be available.
Heuvel said “the people of Volusia County have been really friendly,” including DeBary city officials as well as officials with the county and Team Volusia Economic Development Corp., which has been providing assistance.
He was introduced to Team Volusia as well as local government officials by John Wanamaker, the commercial broker with Coldwell Banker Commercial AI Group in Orange City, who is also the leasing agent for the building at Springview Commerce Park where Smart Baking Company intends to move its headquarters.
Wanaker is a past-chairman of Team Volusia.
“We’re assisting in several areas to ensure no delays in permitting, inspections and the long list of requirements that must be met in order to commence operations,” said Van Auker of the city’s efforts to help Heuvel’s company. “We continue to work with our partners throughout this process.”
CareerSource Flagler Volusia and Duke Energy are also taking part in efforts to help Smart Baking Company.