What’s in a name? For a company with a history in the baking industry that dates back to 1686, quite a bit. In the last 336 years, since the Matthaei family opened its first bakery, we’ve gone through quite a few name changes. Each one unique, reflecting our role in the baking industry and the evolution of the baking industry in general.
As a company, we’ve never been content with the status quo, and the evolution of our name reflects a constant drive toward innovation in the industry. When we first planted our seed in the baking industry in 1686, our name was straightforward: Matthaei Bakery. A family name for a family bakery in Marburg, Germany.
Today, we are still a family-owned business, with W. Peter Matthaei serving as our chief executive officer. However, we’re no longer baking bread, so our name had to change as our company’s role in the baking industry evolved.
In 1969, Charles W.H. Matthaei started the Roman Meal Milling Company in Fargo, North Dakota. Our name at this time reflected our role: milling a whole grain blend for Roman Meal whole grain bread.
As our business expanded beyond the Roman Meal brand, we decided to change our name again in 2008 to Dakota Specialty Milling. This name change emphasized our home in America’s heartland and our focus on milling traditional, ancient and gluten-free grains. We were a company dedicated to providing whole grain goodness to commercial bakeries.
However, in 2012 we made a strategic acquisition of a blending facility in St. Louis. No longer were we just providing value-added grains to the baking industry, we now were offering blends, functional mixes and bases for doughnuts, cakes and other sweet goods.
Each business served a unique customer base, so we kept the company names separate. We were one big family, but each with its own identity of Dakota Specialty Milling or Dakota Blenders.
However, the industry started to change again and a wave of consolidation transformed traditional bread bakeries into suppliers of all types of bakery foods, from whole grain breads to snack cakes to doughnuts. As consolidation continued, we realized that our two distinct customer bases had now morphed into one.
So, we decided to change our name again to reflect a business that can provide milling, blending and toasting services to bakeries throughout North America, as well as the entire food industry.
We’re thrilled to join together Dakota Blenders and Dakota Specialty Milling into DakotaMB. When renaming the company, we wanted to pay respect to where we’re from (North Dakota) and our core business (Milling & Blending). However, the name DakotaMB doesn’t limit us into a specific niche as we now work with countless manufacturers across the food industry on everything from plant-based foods to batter coatings.
DakotaMB reflects who we are today — and the role we play in the baking industry.
Today, our customer portfolio is bigger, the list of industries we serve is longer and the ingredients we mill, blend and toast continues to expand. However, the philosophy of DakotaMB remains unchanged. We are dedicated to working with each of our customers individually to design and develop custom blends and mixes for their specific applications.