July 20, 2024

Entente cordiale with “significant” investment helps Jones Village Bakery create 65 new jobs

Village Bakery Robin and Christien Jones

A fast-growing bakery has secured investment for a multi-million pound expansion plan that’s going to create 65 new jobs – with the promise of many more to follow.

The first phase will see the Jones Village Bakery installing a new production line to make bread rolls at its headquarters site in Wrexham to cater for demand from new and existing customers.

The highly automated state-of the-art line will make a range of morning goods  and will be up and running by next year.

The move has been made possible by a new partnership with French bakery giant, Menissez, a family-owned business that was founded in 1965.

They have bought a stake in the Village Bakery, taking over from UK private equity firm, Limerston Capital, who invested in the company in 2021.

The business will continue to be run by the existing senior management team, headed by Robin Jones, the managing director, and his brother Christien, along with operations director Simon Thorpe and commercial director Lesley Arnot.

The company, which has several bakeries on Wrexham Industrial Estate and another in Minera on the outskirts of the town, currently employs 900 people and was named in the top 10 of the UK’s fastest growing food and drink brands in the Fast 50 food list published by The Grocer magazine, with a compound annual growth rate of 72 per cent.

According to Robin Jones, the Village Bakery had a great number of potential suitors keen to buy into the company’s success story but Menissez was the “perfect fit”.

He said: “This exciting new partnership with Menissez will bring immediate investment into the business.

“They are a brilliant company  and the family, headed by Laurent and Isabelle Menissez, are true global pioneers of the bakery industry and this is a long-term partnership that will benefit from the clear synergies between the two companies and the two families.

“Our cutting edge operation and the scope for future expansion will provide  them with a UK production platform.

“The new production line will be the best, most modern equipment available anywhere in the world and will have a high degree of automation, underpinned by our craft bakery skills.

“We’ve always been keen to ensure that the bakery is run by bakers because we have a very proud heritage as a family business that’s celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

“That’s why Menissez is the perfect fit because they have the same DNA as a family-run company with the same values because like us they focus on people, quality, customer service and innovation.

“We’ve been on an incredible journey and since Limerston became a shareholder  in 2021 the business has trebled in size and we’d like to thank them for their involvement but we are now beginning a new chapter.

“We’re really proud to partner with Menissez because this significant investment will enable us to fulfil our huge potential in terms of growth and reach a whole new level.

“Being part of Menissez, which has a number of companies, including Van Rooy and Le Marie Patisserie in Europe and Boulart in Canada, will bring a host of benefits, not least helping us tap into their enormous distribution network, enabling us to reach new markets – both here in the UK and all over the world.

“We’re already doing incredibly well in Australia and New Zealand, Europe and the Middle East but this tie-up is an absolute gamechanger in terms of export potential.

“As well as the new production line, we’re looking at significant further future investment which will create a lot more jobs in the years to come.

“The reason we have grown  is that we have innovated to make brilliant products backed up by great service and that approach will continue.

“Our quality is second to none and every person working at the Village Bakery has contributed to that success so Christien and I want to say a huge thank you to all the Village People.

“I know they are also going to be integral to our future growth and we will continue to focus on what we do well and do it even better.

“Christien, myself and the Village team are incredibly excited and super-proud because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that’s great news for the workforce and great news for the Wrexham economy. This is the perfect 90th birthday present for us  – it’s onwards and upwards.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Laurent Menissez, the CEO of the Menissez Bakery Group, who said there were clear parallels between the two companies.

He said: “The Jones Village Bakery has been a shining light in the bakery industry for many years and we have watched their growth with great admiration.

“Like them, we are a family company and bakers at heart so their culture and values are the same as ours.

“As well as producing the highest quality baked goods, they have  a clear vision to expand capacity and reach new customers.

“By combining our resources and our expertise, we can become even more successful together.”