Looking to manufacture artisan pizzas using only certified organic, non-GMO ingredients, or maybe gluten-free pizzas with a cauliflower crust? Miracapo Pizza Company is your full-service partner. The company produces nearly 100 million pizzas per year in its three facilities in the Chicagoland area, providing products for private label, branded, and food service clients across the country.
Since its founding, Miracapo has focused on being a leader in the frozen pizza industry. In fact, that’s the origin of the company’s name, which is a combination of the Italian words mirato (focused) and capo (leader). To achieve this goal, Miracapo partners with Naegele Bakery Systems for engineering and equipment sourcing and support.
“Naegele does a lot of concept engineering with us, helping us drive advancement and improvements in our processing areas,” says Steve Kunkle, Miracapo’s president. Those advancements have introduced several pieces of best-in-class equipment into Miracapo’s facilities, including mixers from CMC America and the Kaak Group’s signature DrieM Sheeting Line.
Miracapo installed the DrieM Sheeting Line in 2016, in a project that Kunkle describes as “a significant rebuilding of our largest pizza facility, which took the better part of a year.” As any processor can attest, the startup phase of any major capital expansion is one of the most critical, typically taking between 8 and 10 weeks. With Naegele’s help, Miracapo was able to get the line up and running at full speed in just 2 weeks. “That’s unheard-of,” Kunkle says. “Being able to sell sooner, avoid partial run days, and avoid waste — it’s worth a boatload of money that you can’t even put into numbers.”
That success is an example of why Naegele is Miracapo’s first and only choice for these kinds of projects. “I don’t even bid their services out,” Kunkle says. “We count on the Naegele team significantly. They’re a true partner — they’re here when we need them, and they provide a lot of engineering knowledge and experience that as a small company we aren’t able to maintain in-house.”
Ultimately, Naegele functions more as an extension of the Miracapo organization than as an external supplier. This dedication to Miracapo’s success has led to Naegele doing everything from traveling to different OEMs’ facilities to examine equipment to introducing Miracapo to potential new customers. “What I like most about working with Naegele is they treat us the same as they would treat a multibillion-dollar operation,” Kunkle says. “For us as a smaller company, this support is essential to our survival. The Naegele team is cautious when caution is needed, challenge us when challenge is needed, and support us when support is needed. That type of relationship is priceless.”