Meet Trina Bediako and her father, Tilmon F. Brown, the founders and owners of New Horizon’s Baking, a Black family-owned business based in Norwalk, Ohio that has provided baked goods to over 5,000 fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s.
Tilmon, the company’s Chairman, has been working in the baking industry to support his family since the late 1960s. He was offered the opportunity to run New Horizons Baking Company in 1995, and he eventually took sole ownership. He has spent years ensuring that the company produces high-quality baked goods for the food service industry.
Brown asked his daughter, Trina, who was working in the telecommunications industry at the time, to join the family business in 2002. She learned the business while working under her father for 16 years before becoming CEO in 2017.
The company has seen some innovations under Trina’s leadership in order to stay relevant with changing times while maintaining high standards for the products they make. McDonald’s is one of their long-term customers, and they continue to supply them with baked goods such as English muffins and hamburger buns.
Furthermore, Bediako now oversees four facilities with over 500 employees, which is more than double the number she had when she first joined the company. Although his father laid the groundwork for the company, she believes some changes were necessary to emphasize a more positive employee experience, which has resulted in the company’s growing sales revenue.
“I believe to be a strong leader you’ve got to listen first,” Bediako told Entrepreneur. “You need to care enough about what your employees’ needs are and be willing to make the change. We want to be the choice employer and the choice manufacturer.”