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The Village Bakery Story

During the 10 years the Village Bakery and MMU’s Food Research Centre have been collaborating in KTP, the group has grown from a base of one company to three, with turnover increasing from £4m to nearly £40m.

Early on Managing Director, Robin Jones, identified the value of teaming academic experts and skilled graduates with sector- leading manufacturing facilities. Utilising MMU’s academic expertise and specialist test facilities, he has used the KTP programme on three occasions to support the strategic growth of The Village Bakery Group.

The first KTP with The Village Bakery (Coedpoeth) established EFSIS (European Food Safety Inspection Service) quality systems to enable retail sales; the second delivered manufacture of a range of gluten-free bakery products via The Village Bakery (Nutrition); and the third escalated the company’s status and increased its competitiveness, through improvement of process and formulation, to enable significant sales in top grocery multiples via The Village Bakery (Wrexham).

By embracing KTP and MMU expertise, the positive impact on performance via quality improvements and new business developments has been significant.

The ongoing success of the Group means that significant investment is underway, including a multi-million pound Baking Academy Innovation Centre and new bakery facility, with
the intention of achieving sales of £65m and employing 200 additional staff by 2016.

The Village Bakery Group: KTP Fast Facts

The Village Bakery are a family-owned bakers established in 1964, based in Wrexham, North Wales.

Industry Awards:

  • Baking Industry Awards ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ (2014)
  • Managing Director, Robin Jones, appointed Chair of the Welsh Government’s Food and Drink Industry Board (2014)
  • St David’s Award for Enterprise (2014)
  • Fast Growth 50 Company in Wales, Winner (2013)
  • 1st KTP (2003-05) to set up EFSIS quality accreditation to enable growth into retail sector

    • Sales turnover increased to £7 million
    • Improvements in systems, technology and standards secured new customers
    • Increased product range and product development

    Turnover of £7m and 155 employees (October 2005)

  • 2nd KTP (2008-10) to establish gluten-free bakery business following a £3m investment in a dedicated gluten-free manufacturing facility

    • Sales turnover increased by £6m and profitability by £2.1m
    • First export sales achieved (12% of total sales)
    • 52% share of gluten-free market achieved
    • 46 new staff employed and trained
    • KTP Associate employed as Technical Manager on project completion

    Turnover of £16.7m and 202 employees (October 2010)

  • 3rd KTP (2012-14) to develop a range of products for national retail sales following £5m investment in a state-of-the-art bakery facility

    • Sales of Village Bakery branded products increased by 24%
    • Sales turnover increased by £3m (expected to increase to £8m within 3 years)
    • Profitability increased by £600k (expected to increase by £900k within 3 years)
    • 12 new staff employed and 120 staff trained
    • KTP Associate employed as Innovation and Sustainability Technologist

    Group turnover £35m and 320 employees (September 2014)