PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland District Office recognizes AVB Corporation, parent company of NatureBake and Dave’s Killer Bread, as the District winner of the 2012 Family-Owned Business of the Year award. Standing out among nominees in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, AVB Corporation has also been named the SBA Region X winner under the same category.
“AVB Corporation captures the spirit of family and community while continuously pushing the envelope of entrepreneurship and product innovation,” said SBA Assistant Associate Administrator Calvin Goings. “It is superb to have the opportunity to recognize three generations of the Dahl family and their employees, and the contributions of AVB Corporation to the local economy and community.”
The Midway Bakery, established by Jim and Wanene Dahl in 1955, was purchased by their son Glenn in 1988. Over the years the Dahl family business has increased its production capacity with new equipment, recipes, and branding: now managing to produce at a rate of 4,500 loaves per hour. Brothers Glenn and Dave Dahl along with Glenn’s son Shobi have grown the family bakery business significantly in recent years, expanding their workforce from 35 to 261 employees—of whom about 30 percent are ex-felons transitioning back into society. Company sales have soared too, with growth largely attributable to the success of the “Dave’s Killer Bread” product line.
Dave’s Killer Bread was launched at the Portland Farmer’s Market Artisanal Bread Festival in 2005, where the healthy ingredient breads were a big hit. Dave’s Killer Bread is now available in sixteen varieties across eight states. Dave Dahl’s recipe creations helped establish him as a creative force in the family company, which welcomed Dave’s participation after his own release from the prison system in 2004.
“My dad, Jim Dahl, dreamt of bringing whole grain to the mainstream, and his hard work and perseverance put us in a position to do just that,” said Board Chair of AVB Corporation, Glenn Dahl. “When Dave returned to the family business, his drive and creativity made it possible for the family to work together, reaching a whole new level of popularity for the bakery’s whole grain products.”
Just as impressive as the Dahls’ demonstrated commitment to family is AVB’s investment in community--one of the criteria used in the award selection process. The Dahls have donated hundreds of thousands of loaves of bread to their charitable partners around the Pacific Northwest, and in recent years have made significant financial donations to select organizations that encourage workforce development, individual transition and rehabilitation. It is for these reasons that AVB Corporation was nominated for the Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year award by SCORE Chapter 11.
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