Hands-on experience


Bluffton Bread Company provides hands-on experience for dietetics majors

Brianna Sinn ’20, Katie Kline ’20 and Carley Lester ’20 (L to R)

Bluffton Bread Company provides experience for dietetics majors

From perfecting recipes with wholesome ingredients to executing professional business and marketing plans, the Bluffton Bread Company is an example of the great things happening at Bluffton University.

Nutrition and dietetics majors Brianna Sinn ’20 and Katie Kline ’20 have been an instrumental part of the student-run business. Sinn and Kline spent the summer developing and standardizing recipes for the Bluffton Bread Company.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to go with it,” Sinn said of the recipe development process. “We would plan and plan and then we would bake and something unexpected would happen, so we just had to adjust and move on.”

Kline added, “I love developing the recipes and seeing what worked. All of the creativity that goes into it is something I really enjoyed.”

In August, the two were joined in recipe development by fellow nutrition and dietetics major Carley Lester ’20.

“I think this experience taught me how to start from scratch with something, to continuously remake and redo it until perfected, and to understand that the first time you try something it’s probably not going to be perfect,” Lester said. “Just learning as you go and being able to think critically is important in this type of work.”

After the recipes were developed, students with a variety of majors, from graphic design to marketing, also became involved in the business. However, Sinn, Kline and Lester remain integral to the company as they move forward with production, inventory and delivery.

Kline believes the additional hands-on experience in her field of study will be beneficial for her future career.

“It has given me great experience in food service,” said Kline, “but it’s also given me some business background.”

However, the hard work is paying off. During the Bluffton Bread Company’s initial sales at the Bluffton University Nutrition Association’s annual Harvest Dinner, more than 300 loves were sold.

“It takes a lot of work, but the work that you put in, you’ll definitely get rewarded for it,” said Sinn. “I’ve really enjoyed seeing our work come to life.”

Bryce Fink

Bryce Fink '20

Bryce, a member of the Consumer Behavior class, served as the moderator for the community focus group, where 12 community members tested each of the four breads. “I have never done a focus group before, so doing this first one will be beneficial for me in my future marketing career,” Fink said.

Adam Duncan

Adam Duncan '20

Adam was a member of the Consumer Behavior class and led a focus group for Bluffton’s faculty and staff. “This was the first focus group I have ever been a part of, so it was a good experience for me,” Duncan said. “I have learned a lot about how long and detailed this whole process is, from customizing a product to then trying to market it while trying to figure out all of the small details.”

Anthony Mungia

Anthony Mungia '21

Anthony is working through the public relations office as the content manager and student marketer for the Bluffton Bread Company. He organized an outline of advertisements, social media posts, articles and events relating to the launch of the company.  “I'm getting a first-hand look at what it takes to lead my own team with the Bluffton Bread Company. Being able to work with others on this project has really given me an idea of what I want to do in my future,” Mungia said.

Beth Weigandt

Beth Weigandt '20

Beth is one of the focus group leaders for the Consumer Behavior class. Weigandt believes the hands-on experience this provides her with will be beneficial in any job she obtains in the future. “Consumer attitudes, perspectives and various other details come into play when starting up a new company while also promoting a new product. All of these variables are aspects I have been exposed to through being involved with the Bluffton Bread Company focus groups,” Weigandt said.

Joe Eisele

Joe Eisele '21

Joe is a member of the Cost Accounting class that has helped determine the costs associated with production of the bread to help determine a selling price. “This helps me with my future career path because it allows me to see the details and intricacies that are involved in business and gives real-world examples,” Eisele said.

Hannah Brown

Hannah Brown '20

Hannah, a graphic design major, designed the logo and helped develop the branding for the Bluffton Bread Company. Brown was involved in several initial meetings and created many logo ideas, mood boards, sketches and revisions before finalizing the current logo. “I learned what it is like to be a designer creating a logo/brand mark for a client,” Brown said. 

Banana Walnut bread

Bluffton Bread Company

A limited number of specialty loaves will be sold for Christmas and Easter. Bread will be baked by select Food and Nutrition students and shipped fresh to your door.