6:24pm Wednesday 22nd February 2012
AN expanding Tenbury business has acquired one of the biggest brands in baking in a move that is already creating new jobs.
Orchard Valley Foods, on the Teme Business Park, has bought the creative baking solutions division of McDougalls – one of the biggest brands in baking.
The move has already created three new jobs at the firm which supplies baking ingredients to major producers throughout the UK.
Mike Forrester, who founded the business from home, has invested more than £600,000 in new units and machinery. He has seen the staff increase from just two to 35 and further growth is planned for this year.
Mr Forrester said: “We started as an intermediary sourcing ingredients from suppliers in Europe for UK-based manufacturers.
“Now we send out 10 million packages from Burford to customers all over the country. But as well as supplying we have also started manufacturing.”
Most of the business involves trade customers but there is also an increasing number of sales to retailers including major outlets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda.
Orchard Valley’s trade customers include household names such as Pizza Hut, Weetabix, Kraft Cadbury and McVitie’s.
The company’s manufacturing includes mixes for cakes, muffins and other bakery products. At present the majority of the business is with customers all over the UK but the Burford-based company is looking to expand further into the overseas market where it already supplies Holland and Belgium. It sees huge growth potential in the home baking market and supplying to smaller ‘artisan’ bakers.
Orchard Valley has a policy of using local suppliers whenever possible and is now one of the largest employers in the Tenbury area.
Mr Forrester said: “This is a great place to live and work which is why I set up here. We have an excellent workforce and most of our people live locally.
“Our products go all over the country and at least one large lorry will leave our plant every day.
“This location is not ideal for distribution but this is compensated for by the other benefits.”
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