Southeastern Mills has opened its Culinary Innovation Center in Rome, Georgia. The 5,500-s.f. state-of-the-art center combines laboratory, culinary, sensory, pilot and ideation areas in one place. This new space will enable Southeastern Mills to innovate and experiment with food trends and flavors to inspire new product and menu items, the company says.
“We wanted to create a space that builds collaboration with our customers,” said Jennifer Moore, director of research and development for Southeastern Mills. “We’re excited to work though solutions on the bench to see how products can be brought to life, whether it’s an industrial product, a new menu item for a restaurant chain or a product for a consumer to use at home.”
With craftsman heritage and state-of-the-art technologies, the new space includes:
• A 28-ft. open commercial kitchen with an 18-ft. bar for professional filming;
• Dedicated space for sensory work with its own air handling system and independent lighting to customize by product showing;
• State-of-the-art analytical equipment for product testing;
• Dedicated flexible space featuring interactive components focused on innovation and conversation;
• Bench-top equipment that replicates production, double ovens and warming drawers;
• Energy-efficient lighting; and
• Wireless conference room technology for remote collaboration.
Southeastern Mills used local labor on the center. An employee created a one-of-a-kind, handmade conference table out of cherry and black walnut. The custom cabinets also were hand-built by a local craftsman.
As the industry leader in biscuits, gravy and concentrated food bases, the culinary innovation center will host executive leadership (culinary and research and development) from top national and regional chain restaurant accounts, industrial ingredient industry leaders, and buyers and brokers for the top retail grocers.
Southeastern Mills is a fourth-generation, family-owned food company headquartered in Rome, Georgia. Founded in 1941, Southeastern Mills is an ingredient supplier to foodservice manufacturers and restaurants. The company also markets nationally distributed brands including Better Than Bouillon, Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce, Southeastern Mills, Shore Lunch and Better Than Gravy. Southeastern Mills operates three manufacturing facilities located in Rome, Georgia, and New Iberia, Louisiana.