Signature Flatbreads explains what it meant to be crowned Bakery Manufacturer of the Year at the Baking Industry Awards (BIAs) 2016

Success in the Bakery Manufacturer of the Year category at last year’s BIAs was all about the people, says Signature Flatbreads joint-managing director Charles Eid.

“You might have the best new shiny machines, the best products, but without the right people it means nothing and eventually you will not succeed,” he says.

“It’s all about our team and the people. A company with good people, who are passionate, care about the business, who put their heart and soul into the work they do, is everything.”

Eid recalls the moment BIA host Matt Dawson announced Signature Flatbreads’ win as “too good to be true”.

“We had a table at the awards ceremony with members from different parts of the company,” Eid adds. “We all said before the evening, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to win?’ and in the end we did! We were surprised; we did not expect to receive this recognition.”

He adds that the award feels like independent verification the business is doing the right things in terms of customer service, product quality, technical standards and innovation.

“I guess you can’t win such an award without being a good all-rounder company,” he says.

Signature Flatbreads, formed following the acquisition of Honeytop Speciality Foods by Aryzta in 2011, services 50 countries from its bakeries in Dunstable and in Nashik, India.

Eid, along with joint-managing director and brother William, set up an innovation centre in 2012 to support the bakery in Nashik by developing new products and processes to bring to market. “The team in India are really proud of what we have done in the UK.”

Eid describes the smooth running of the business like an orchestra: “It’s a combination of having the right people who will deliver the quality of the product, the service, the technical standards and the innovation. When all these work together in harmony, it’s like a symphony, you can’t have one violinist who is creaking in the background or a trombonist who is off-beat.”

“When everything syncs in harmony, you have a success. If any bakeries think they have an orchestra that is humming in tune, they should definitely enter next year. There are so many great bakery companies in the UK and they should have a go.”

Sponsor’s comments

Category sponsor Sonneveld said Signature Flatbreads offered the “complete package”.

“Following intense competition, choosing three finalists and a winner was difficult,” says Peter Eggington, commercial manager for Sonneveld.

“Signature Flatbreads offered the complete package, a clear vision and strategy, which they were able to communicate with passion. What really stood out was the willingness to have hand finishing elements to a highly automated production process, and the focus on delivering product innovations.”