No-one would suggest it’s been an easy year for business, with soaring costs and supply issues piling pressure on operations of all sizes.
Yet despite such concerns bakeries have continued to make major investments in their businesses – a sure sign of long-term confidence in the market.
Here we round up some of the biggest investments and funding deals announced in the past 12 months.
Higgidy to invest £10m in expansion
In January, pastry brand Higgidy announced a £10m expansion of its Shoreham-by-Sea facility after Samworth Brothers increased its stake in the business. Planned investment includes new equipment, expanding the footprint of the site and upgrading the current office and shared spaces. According to the brand, the initial stage of capital investment would unlock capacity that will take the brand close to £66m in retail sales value.
Aryzta to double speciality breads capacity
In April Aryzta announced plans to double its production capacity for sourdough and speciality breads in the UK and Ireland following investment in its Grange Castle bakery in Dublin. Plans include installation of a new speciality bread manufacturing plant as well as expansion of its live sourdough starter plant.
Jones Village Bakery installs £16m line
Jones Village Bakery installed a £16m production line at its Wrexham plant that it called the most advanced in the world.The 85m long line has been configured to the company’s bespoke specifications, and was described as the “perfect marriage” between the latest technology and traditional craft baking skills. The bread-making process, including fermentation, proofing and baking, can take up to 38 hours to make one loaf.
The Bread Factory acquires new bakery
The Bread Factory acquired a 70,000 sq ft bakery in Milton Keynes in September as part of its plans to grow its foodservice and grocery business. The company – a subsidiary of Bread Holdings – said the factory would provide world-class production facilities and state-of-the-art freezing and storage. The business currently supplies bread, viennoiserie and cakes, to premium hotels and chefs, and said the investment would enable it to work with more customers in the UK and further afield.
Roberts to make £18m investment
Frank Roberts and Sons secured £18m to invest in its bakeries and provide working capital. “We now have the opportunity to ensure our bakery uses the most modern equipment and continues to produce the best quality products available on the shelves,” said deputy chairman Mike Roberts. The funding was announced in October, when the business also named Bill Thurston its new managing director.
Real Good Food secures £2.5m turnaround funding
Cake decoration specialist Real Good Food secured an additional £2.5m in funding in November to support its turnaround. The business, which owns Renshaw and Rainbow Dust Colours, is reducing costs and protecting revenue as it faces a “very challenging and loss-making year” due to increases in raw material and energy costs. Turnaround measures include price re-sets and improvements in manufacturing efficiency.
Brace’s acquires £4m production line
South Wales-based Brace’s Bakery invested £4m in a new production line for bread rolls, tea cakes and hot cross buns. The line produces up to 16,000 rolls an hour, which will add to the one million products manufactured by the bakery and bought weekly in supermarkets and shops in the region. The investment would enable the 120-year-old family business to expand its range and enter new markets, Brace’s said.
Urban Legend fundraising success
In August healthier doughnut brand Urban Legend completed its second round of fundraising in less than a year, securing a further £7m in venture capital in addition to the £3m seed funding raised. The funds are being invested in a new custom-built factory in West London to service a deal with Tesco that will see Urban Legends products available in 50 stores across London.