Village Bakery

Origins

The founders were aware of a gap in the market to produce craft bakery products on a scale that the major retailers would require in an environment that would exceed the highest demands of hygiene and lean manufacturing. They are a family of bakers with a wide skill set and focused on ingredients that were novel and had provenance, creating recipes that set the business apart from its competitors.

Success Factor

One of the key factors has been the ability to react to customers’ needs in a timely manner by listening to what they want and then delivering them a timely and quality service. By forming such a close and trusted relationship with major customers, the Village Bakery has been able to grow at a much faster rate. The routes it has taken with own label products does have its risks but when you get it right, it can deliver excellent profitable growth. Taking a risk, but a calculated one, the company built a very flexible plant that could be utilised for many different products at a minimum of cost. The founders’ knowledge of the industry has helped the business to select the correct equipment for the vision they have for the future. They have also future proofed the firm’s production capabilities by viewing markets from all over the world to see what trends will head their way which can create risks but the ability to change gives the business growth. Being an indigenous family business based in North Wales, the owners are looking for long term success in the market they know best namely baking! They are not looking for short term wins and are focused on maximising good profitable business for the future. The business also has a stable team of decision makers who want to grow the business in a sustainable way by investing in the business, the plant and most importantly, the people.

The Future

The Village Bakery in Wrexham is aiming to further strengthen its relationship with its major customers and will ensure that any investment in the bakery is aligned to their needs and their growth aspirations. The business has a very small but focused management team with the ability to look at opportunities in a very short time scale and give customers an answer in weeks if not days. This gives a competitive advantage over larger more cumbersome rivals who can debate opportunities for months or even longer. Also a lot of competitors or so tied up in debt they cannot explore these opportunities - by remaining profitable and having the correct financial gearing, the Village Bakery can exploit every chance to grow the business. By focusing on premium and craft products that are not in a price competitive market, manufactured on innovative plants that combine the highest possible quality and economic efficiency, the business will be able to grow in a profitable manner. There will also be a focus on sustainability, ensuring that the bakery and its processes are energy efficient. This will be done by focusing on lower inputs but also aligned to adding value to products, such as wood fired ovens or reducing food miles by local sourcing initiatives. One of the major plans to increase capacity is the building of another 60,000sq ft. of production space and a new office block with the capacity for a new innovation centre, technical centre which will enable the Village Bakery to grow to over £35 million in turnover in the next five years.