Gardenia Plant Tour at Binan, Laguna

Here in the Philippines, when you ask for a brand of high quality and premier tasting breads popular answer would be Gardenia breads. Reasons of its popularity are 1) of its "Grate Tastes". It is so good that you can eat and enjoy it even without looking for a spread/stuffing. 2) of its "Softness". You may roll it or fold it anyway you want and your bread are assured that it will not break into pieces which is a proof of its freshness. 3) of its "Aroma". Gardenia breads have this tempting fresh-from-the-oven-aroma that pumps up your appetite. With all those pointers, I must confess that my whole family is really a fan of Gardenia. That's why I am truly thankful when a fellow blogger, Alice, invited me to join an event (headed by Ms. Grace Nicolas) on having a visit and tour inside the Gardenia plant.

How to get there?
Gardenia's plant is located in Laguna International Industrial Park (LIIP), Mamplasan, Binan, Laguna. The plant tour is free and can be book by visiting Gardenia's website at Just download and answer the booking form. You may also call them at (02) 845 0971 and (049) 539 1136 to 40. Tour hours are from 7:00am to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday and Sunday. Gardenia's plant in Cebu also allows tours. You may reach them thru this hotline: (032) 341 2895.

Let the tour begin!

As our group reach the plant, we were welcomed by with smiles from the employees of Gardenia. Everyone was excited with the tour. I even felt like I was traveled back on my elementary days where I used to attend field trips. We were first directed to the registration area and got our plant ID's with our names on it. We were then escorted on one of their rooms where the first part of the tour will be conducted.

Getting our IDs :)
Can you name all these Gardenia products?

The first part of the tour was headed by Mr. Jun Umali (Gardenia PH's President & General Manager). He gave us an informative talk about the company. Mainly about the history of Gardenia like how did they started, how are they doing now, and how did they manage to be on top in the baking industry.He also talks about how important to them the nutrition of their consumers and how important is sanitation to this industry. He even pointed out so many times that they have the most modern bread factory in the country that they're proud to say that they are "baking breads untouched by human hands". Amazing, right?

Mr. Umali even share some pointers on how they maintain or how we can prolong the freshness of our breads:
  • Air dries out the bread. So, after we get our needed slice/s, it is recommended to re-seal again the pack.
  • If possible, save the top slice of the loaf and use it as a cover of the remaining loaf.
  • Keep the bread out of hot areas because it may cause the bread to moisten which may lead to premature molding. Store your bread in a cool and dry place.
    • He even recommends to put it inside the refrigerator. Then if you are planning to eat it, just reheat in toaster the slices you needed. 
  • Keep it away from items that emit odors because breads absorb odors.
  • Make sure that your hands are clean. Bacteria can also cause premature molding.
  • Lastly, he advised that if possible, consume your bread immediately :] 
But what caught my attention on his talk was when he discussed how they make sure that we, consumers, get the fresh bread possible and how Gardenia reaching out to help our society. Gardenia breads freshness can last up to 14 days but they only indicate on the G-lock (Gardenia's seal/loaf seal) 7 days for best before days. They also pull out their breads on their respective re-sellers every 2-days, replacing it with new ones. Yes, they did not wait until the bread reach its 7th day before they replace it. I know what you're thinking. Waste? No. The pull out breads (which we can still consider quality breads) are being sold to fishermen. These are made into food for cultured fishes (like bangus, tilapia, etc). Poultry owners also buy these breads to feed on their pigs and chickens. Lucky animals huh?

Not only that, Gardenia also support charities here and there where they donate thousands of breads on these organizations. I'm not sure if they give newly bake ones or the pulled out breads. But hey, its just a 2-day old breads and considered edible so it's not a big deal if they feed it also to people. They even encouraged us that if we are looking for sponsorship for charity work and alike, we may contact them for collaboration. Nice!

Mr. Umali giving his talk
Selfie with Mr. Jun Umali

I think I've written too much already. Let's now move forward to the actual tour. Are you ready? Just keep that mouse ball rolling and enjoy your virtual tour on a state-of-the-art-plant that produces 650,000 loaves and buns everyday!

1) Giant Silo. It is where the production starts. These towering silos are used to store raw materials used in baking. These are stainless steels and being manage by computerized systems.

2) Hi-Tech Automation. This part of the plant features their fully automated and computer-controlled system for bread making production. Some of these are used for handling the mixing, proofing, baking, and slicing. All of the said actions are again handled by machines. There are few people in the area but they're only needed once the machine fail. If not, then they can just roam around the area and check other things out. Like what I said above: Gardenia is baking breads untouched by human hands.

Start of the tour in the production area
Machine that ensures Gardenia breads are equal in weight
All dough are set!

3). Fresh from the Oven. You'll see breads coming out of these ovens which extract irresistible aroma all over the the production area. Even in our place which is covered by glass and kilometers away, we can still smell that out-of-the-oven-aroma.

Bread's aroma starts here

4) Twin Spiral Cooling Towers. This is my favorite part of the tour on the production area. You'll see two towers surrounded by thousands of breads. According to the tour facilitator, each tower holds 3,000 breads. The main purpose of this moving conveyor is to cool-off the loaves.

Amazing part of the tour
That tower holds 3,000 Gardenia Classic Breads!!!

5) High-Speed Bagging. Yes that's right, even the packaging/bagging part of the loaf is machine operated. Same goes on sealing the bread. Sealing it with G-lock is also being done by machines. Tip: “G-Locks” help customers know when did the bread was baked and packed and it is color coded:
  • Tan – Monday
  • Orange – Tuesday
  • Yellow – Wednesday
  • Blue – Thursday
  • Green – Friday
  • Red – Saturday
  • White – Sunday
Using the guide above, if you're buying a Gardenia bread on a Wednesday it is strongly suggested that you look for Yellow, Orange or Tan G-locked breads. Got it? Now, aside from expiration date, we should also check the color of G-locks before buying Gardenia bread. 

We're almost done with the tour
Bagging and sealing of bread
People only touches the bread to put it on their storage area. 
The storage area. Soon be delivered to our houses!

The High-Speed Bagging area is the last part of the production tour but the fun never stops there. Upon reaching the end of this tour, you'll also be heading at the back door where there are standees for photo-op! I really love how'd they make the 3D bread production standee.

That's a 3D wallpaper/standee
This is how it looks like from a far...
More standees!

Before we bid our goodbyes and end our tour, Gardenia still impressed us by preparing a buffet style snacks made of Gardenia products (prepared in a creative and re-inventive ways)!

Yes, these are all made using gardenia bread
Click here to learn how to do these
Desserts still using Gardenia products
Thank you Gardenia PH for the very informative and wonderful tour

So what are you waiting for? Book now a tour at the most modern bread factory in the country. Learn about how they made their best quality breads and also know the importance of proper nutrition and sanitation practices. It is really recommendable for school field trips and alike.

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