That Wonderful Smell of Baking Solved?

Nancy Flynn Apostrophe Blog Archive, Musings, Neighborhood, Writing

The Apostrophe Blog

Musings on Writing and Life.

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It started as a single event. One day I went outside and the air in our neighborhood here in Northeast Portland was filled with the wonderful smell of baking! At first, I assumed someone in the neighborhood wasn’t as calorie-phobic as I am and had decided to make a batch of cookies or pastries or donuts. Then I smelled it a second time. And a third. By then, I was starting to assume that someone had a cottage industry in her/his house making wonderful baked goods to then sell at a Farmer’s Market or the co-op or one of the zillion coffee joints in this town. Then last weekend we met our neighbor and somehow the baking smell came up. He said that Kraft had a baking facility somewhere nearby and that the smell was their periodic baking of Nilla Vanilla Wafers. I must say, after hearing this, I felt kindlier toward the corporate giant Kraft/Nabisco. I only know they were recently really a tobacco company and that they now go by the abstracted name of Altria (now Mondelez) because my sister works for them back in northeastern Pennsylvania. If they could fill my new neighborhood with the smell of baking even once a week, how great was that?

Today, en route to a sporting goods store to replace my MIA pedometer, I drove by the Kraft plant on Columbia Boulevard, not far off Martin Luther King Boulevard, all of two miles from our house. Indeed, a sign at one of the entrances says it is a baking division. No smells in the air as I drove by today. Maybe they’re shut down for the holiday weekend.

A little Google detective work upon returning unearthed this on the Nabisco, Portland, OR, BCTGM—
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union—web site. That Local 364 indeed bakes these cookies and crackers at their Portland facility:

Cookie Brands: Oreo, Chips Ahoy!
Cracker Brands: Better Cheddar, Premium, Wheat Thins, Ritz, Air Crisp, Cheese Nips

But no Nilla Vanilla Wafers! Could they have added them to their product roster and the web information is out of date? Inquiring minds still need to do more work to find out. Meanwhile, I wonder if they publish a copy of their baking schedule…

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