If you read about Lenexa Manufacturing Company online, it’s not hard to find that we were first formed in 2013. But that’s not quite the whole story. In fact, our history stretches back well over 100 years, with knowledge, skills, and values passing from one generation to the next.
And it all started with a little bakery in Oregon…
The history of LMC
In the early 1900s, a young man named Andrew Bastasch traveled from Eastern Europe to Oregon along with his family. There, Andrew set up a bakery that would become Luxury Bread, where he built a reputation for passion, integrity, and dedication to customer satisfaction.
As the years went by, Luxury Bread was passed down to Andrew’s son, Frank, and then to his grandson, John. And while the bakery’s reputation remained the same, their operation underwent a radical change.
Frank Jr.’s brother, Paul, had a particular talent for engineering. Struck by a spark of innovation, Paul combined that talent with his knowledge of baking to invent a brand new bun bagging machine. By automating their production, the bakery could pump out delicious bread like never before in only half the time. And as their productivity skyrocketed, so too did their profits.
Paul’s eyes had been opened to the astonishing potential of baking machinery. So, in Kansas in 1964, he became a leading manufacturer of automated slicing and packaging equipment by launching United Bakery Equipment (UBE). This marked the family’s transition from selling bread to servicing bakeries.
For over 40 years, UBE stood at the forefront of the bakery machinery manufacturing industry. But in 2013, the Bastasch family was forced to close its Kansas facility. While many moved over to UBE’s California facility, one man chose to stay behind: Paul’s son, Steve Bastasch.
Instead, Steve decided to follow in his great grandfather’s footsteps and launch a company of his own. But a lot had changed since the early 1900s, and Steve was free to dream a little bigger.
Using the skills he’d developed working at UBE, Steve started manufacturing and selling parts for bakery equipment in 2013 under the name Lenexa Manufacturing Company. At first LMC consisted only of Steve and Paul Steinke, who filled the role of LMC’s head mechanical engineer. But even with only two workers, bakeries across America were climbing over each other to get their hands on our parts.
In no time at all, LMC swelled to a close-knit team of 13 personable and passionate industry experts, with Steve Bastasch as company president. And as our workforce grew, so too did our goals.
Today, LMC satisfies the slicing and packaging needs of mid- to large-size bakeries worldwide with high-speed automated machinery. Even now we strive to expand our operation and offer a wide range of products and services to all our clients. And with our high standards for quality and keen eye for innovation, we’re confident LMC’s best days are still yet to come.
How LMC supports bakeries worldwide
Meeting our clients’ automation needs is about much more than selling equipment. Rather, LMC offers a full suite of services including design, manufacturing, sale, installation, and maintenance and servicing of industrial bagging and slicing machines, and their related parts.
Using state-of-the-art CAD software, our engineers precisely design the components and machines bakers need to optimize their operation. We also test prototypes using SolidWorks 3D to ensure perfect working order before production.
Our 10,000 sq. ft. factory space and expert manufacturing engineers make it easy to produce any bakery machinery components to our clients’ specifications. Rather than waiting months, we can produce these in mere days, and even offer a 24-hour turnaround time on parts.
From bread baggers, to bun slicers, to heat sealers, we offer all sorts of new, refurbished, and used bakery equipment. Bakers can easily find their perfect new addition using our 60-second bakery equipment quiz. We also supply plenty of replacement parts, including hinge blades and band blades, which can often be shipped with next-day delivery.
We don’t just wash our hands of you once you’ve purchased our bakery equipment. Instead, we send our engineers to install your new equipment for you, and stay for as long as you need to make sure everything works as intended.
Maintenance and servicing
Every machine needs a bit of TLC to stay in peak condition. So, our experienced technicians are available to visit your bakery anywhere in the world to provide on-site equipment maintenance and servicing. They also provide complementary services like reviewing your preventative maintenance plan and delivering staff training.
How LMC impacts the baking industry
As well as providing comprehensive services to keep your bakery in top shape, we also use our skills and resources to push the industry forward. For example, we currently have a patent-pending slicing design that we can’t wait for you to experience. But perhaps our most notable contribution is one of our simplest: the invention of a reusable hinge blade assembly.
When a blade snapped or lost its edge, bakers also used to have to replace the stem and hub even if they were in great condition, since all the pieces were connected. But by using a lock nut hinge, our invention allowed for the blade to be removed from the assembly, leaving the stem and hub intact. This reduces wastage, and saves bakeries a ton of money in replacement parts.
How LMC helps bakeries automate their operations
Upgrading your bakery with automated machinery is a great way to reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve the safety of your staff. Our machines remove the manual labor involved in bakery operations, and can improve line speed to one bag every second. We also work as an extension of your team, supporting you as you grow your business.
To find out more about how we can support and enhance the growth of your bakery, contact us today.