Less Crumbs, More Cookies!


By Fred Pollard - The Telegraph

ALTON, IL - With the purchase of a brand new wire-cut conveyor machine, Ben Hollis of Duke Bakery is proving he is one smart cookie.

"This will really open up our cookie production," Hollis said.

For more than 60 years, Duke Bakery, 819 Henry St., has provided the area with an assortment of cakes, pies, doughnuts, muffins, breads, frozen treats and more. As of late, the bakery's famed cookies have taken center stage.

"Cupcakes seem to be the big thing everywhere now, and we are selling more cupcakes, but cookies have definitely become our biggest item," Hollis said.

Duke sells a growing variety of dessert, butter, mini cookies and more.

"We have always had a lot of cookie business during Christmas," Hollis said. "Due to a lack of space and staffing, we have always purchased a portion of our cookies from a bakery in New York. Now, we will be able to make all of our cookies right here."

On Dec. 6, Duke Bakery began using a new wire-cut conveyor cookie production machine to create the tasty treats right here at home.

The Duke team renovated the shop's production area, creating a new decorating room, making the old decorating room a cookie prep area, and gaining 800 square feet of production space.

"We are utilizing a lot of space we just didn't have before," Hollis said.

The new wire-cut conveyor cookie production machine has the capability of making 1,200 dozen cookies per hour.

"There is a large hopper in the top where the dough goes in," Hollis said. "The pans get loaded on one end, and this thing can move so fast it takes two to three people just to keep it running."

For the past few years, Hollis has been using a semi-automated cookie machine, but will be retiring that process with the updated machine, which measures 4 feet by 5 feet by 3 feet.

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