Former employee ‘hurt, disheartened’ by Aunt Millie’s announcement

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) -An iconic bakery in Fort Wayne is closing. Aunt Millie’s said there won’t be any bread made Downtown by April of next year. It will affect 91 jobs.

It’s the second round of layoffs for the breadmaker. Two weeks ago nearly two dozen drivers were laid off.

When Aaron Cunningham first started delivering Aunt Millie’s products ten years ago he figured he’d be there for life.

“When I got hired on the supervisor that hired me said ‘that’s one good thing about the business you’re going in to everybody always needs bread,’ Cunningham said.

But last month Cunningham, and 21 other drivers, found out they wouldn’t be delivering bread anymore.

“These drivers have been working there 30, 40 years a lot of them,” Cunningham said.

Aunt Millie’s officials said their third party transportation carrier Transervice’s contract was up, and was outbid by another carrier affecting 22 jobs. Then, on Monday Aunt Millie’s announced even more employees would be laid off as it plans to close the Fort Wayne bakery.

Cunningham has since found another job, but feels for those employees just dealing with the emotions he had.

“It’s hurtful, and it’s very disheartening that a company could do something like this to their employees,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham said a lot of his former colleagues were able to find new jobs with the help of the union.

“That’s one good thing as far as all this goes,” he said. “One good thing about it is there’s a lot of jobs out there.”

Aunt Millie’s leaders said they will work with the union to negotiate transitional benefits.

Cunningham said he misses the people the most.

“They were family,” he said.

The company said it has seven bakeries, but as grocery chains shut down they can’t support them all so they had to close one factory. Aunt Millie’s Bakeries Senior Director of Marketing Melissa Dunning said the Fort Wayne bakery was picked because of logistical reasons like age and distance to major highways.