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What happened to Dallas’ Mrs. Baird’s bread factory? Curious Texas investigates



DALLAS, TX – Delightful smells of flour, butter and sugar from Mrs. Baird’s baking plant filled the intersection of Mockingbird Lane and Central Expressway for almost 50 years.

But in 2001, the North Texas queen of bread closed down. What once was a highly efficient plant is now a Southern Methodist University data center and tennis complex.

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The bakery’s absence left one reader asking Curious Texas: “Whatever happened to Mrs. Baird’s Bread?”

Executives made the decision to close the Dallas factory because its location didn’t allow much room for growth.

But when the plant opened in 1953, the opposite was true. The area was considered to be on the outskirts of Dallas and an ideal location for growth. It was the largest automated bread bakery in the world, producing 2 million pounds of bread a week.

The facility was fully air-conditioned, an innovation for bakeries at the time. And it replaced a smaller plant at Bryan Street and Carroll Avenue.

Mrs. Baird’s vice president Roland Baird told The Dallas Morning News in 1953: “This new plant was built to keep pace with the constant growth of Dallas and the surrounding trade area. With it, Mrs. Baird’s will be able to furnish even fresher and better bread to customers everywhere.”

But as the surrounding area developed, the site became unsuitable for large-scale production.

Despite the neighborhood largely embracing the plant and the smell of baking surrounding it, “we’re not environmentally good neighbors,” Muldoon said in 2001, referencing the large, noisy trucks that moved through the area 24/7.

“We have to direct our growth to more efficient plants,” he said.

Soon after the Dallas plant closed, operations moved to the Mrs. Baird’s plant on Interstate 35W in Fort Worth. The company also announced an $8 million project to expand increase Fort Worth’s donut production by 50 percent and bake 100 loaves a minute.

Compared to the old Dallas factory, the 323,000-square-foot Fort Worth facility is bigger, more modern and better able to meet demand, Bimbo Bakeries USA, which owns Mrs. Baird’s, said in a prepared statement.