July 13, 2024

Bakery clinches “historic” deal with M&S

Village Bakery Launch Welsh Batch; Pictured (L/R) Tom Breeze Bakery Manager, Jason O'Kefe, Robin Jones MD, Jeanette Owens and Alfie Burgess. Picture Mandy Jones

A top bakery has clinched a historic contract with Marks and Spencer to sell its signature loaf in all its Welsh stores.

The award-winning Village Bakery already supplies around 30 products to M&S but what makes this deal special is that this is the first time that their bread has been sold under the family firm’s own label.

According to managing director Robin Jones, he was exceptionally proud that the famous Village Bakery Welsh Batch loaf was now available in the chain’s 30 shops across Wales and the Marches.

The news, he said, was a great reward for the team after they rose to the challenge of doubling bread production when demand went through the roof because of panic buying caused by Covid-19.

Their high standards had been kept up throughout and this had been critical in securing the M&S contract.

Mr Jones said: “We’ve worked with M&S for over 12 years now and to get our branded Village Bakery Welsh Batch in there is fantastic. It’s a great accolade and a historic moment for us.

“Our Welsh Batch is a premium loaf made with dough that’s fermented for 16 hours, so it’s full of flavour and we give it a very, very long bake which makes a real difference.

“We’re baking that loaf for 50 minutes, compared to some of our competitors who are baking for 19 minutes, so you can understand why there’s so much flavour in it.

“It is our ultimate loaf with nice thick slices, so it makes a really tasty sandwich.

“We have high hopes that it’s going to do well and prove popular with M&S customers.

“It’s part of a drive by them to stock more Welsh products in Welsh stores.

“Their ethos has always been well-matched with the Village Bakery thanks to their commitment to local sourcing, animal welfare and protecting the environment.”

Equally delighted was Tom Breeze, the manager of the company’s bakery in Minera, just up the road from Wrexham, where the Welsh Batch is baked.

He said: “It’s our flagship loaf so it’s my personal favourite and I think it’s most people’s favourite so it’s fantastic that it’s going in all the Welsh stores.

“Hopefully, this can be a stepping stone to going UK-wide with the Welsh Batch.

“After its long fermentation, it’s batched into fives which helps with the flavour and moisture of the loaf. Everybody here is really proud.”