New VMI Mixer installed at the dedicated nut area of Mathiesons bakery in Larbert, Scotland

Source: EPP

New VMI Mixer installed at the dedicated nut area of Mathiesons bakery in Larbert, Scotland

Scottish firm Mathiesons has installed a new VMI Mixer to increase production and quality levels of its sweet bakery ranges supplied to major UK retailers.

The manufacturer, which has a history dating back to 1872, claims to be the UK’s number one supplier of stollen, producing a variety of whole stollen, slices, and bites with a secret recipe it said it prides itself on.

Mathiesons makes stollen under the brand name Edler’s, which has a range that also includes sweet and savoury pastry cases.

Around 150 staff are employed year-round by Mathiesons, with up to 220 workers at seasonal times. The Larbert location is said to be at the heart of Scotland’s central distribution network, which allows the bakery business to serve as a key contributor to own-brand offerings of retailers across the UK.

Among the other products created at the BRC AA+ accredited site in Larbert near Falkirk are chilled tarts, hand-finished cakes, sponges, biscuits, loaf cakes, mince pies, and more. The Central Bakery branded range of freshly baked desserts and puddings is also produced there.

Mathiesons’ factory has three separate manufacturing units under one roof – chilled goods, bakery/confectionary, and a dedicated nut area. The latter production facility is where the VMI Mixer is now in operation, used for the likes of stollen, Bakewell tarts, Florentines, babka, and simnel cakes.

Mathiesons' new mixer was supplied by equipment specialist EPP  1338x1526

Source: EPP

Mathiesons’ new mixer was supplied by equipment specialist EPP

“After using a 12-year-old mixer, it was time for a replacement as the software was becoming outdated and parts were hard to source” said Mathiesons MD Nick Wills.

The bakery contacted European Process Plant (EPP), an Epsom-based equipment specialist which supplied both Simmons Bakers in Hertfordshire and Thomas the Baker in Yorkshire with new Koenig Combilines last year.

“Following multiple discussions and site visits, the EPP team recommended the SPI 400AV mixer from VMI,” noted Wills, adding that he was pleased with the supplier’s efficiency and knowledge.

“We have had several installations in the past, and this was by far one of the best and most simplistic. From the moment it arrived at the factory, everything proceeded smoothly,” commented Wills. “The service and installations team worked with our engineers, and it was a joy. Which is not something you can often say, to be honest.”

The new mixer was said to have impressed the staff at Mathiesons, coping well with the high-density dough, kneading consistently, and proving a “great asset in ramping up production”. Its implementation has seen the bakery improve production rates to 12 tonnes a week, completing batches in a much shorter time too.

Our recent feature entitled Raising dough: smarter ways to invest in bakery equipment discovered how equipment suppliers, regional investment funds, and other financial schemes could help businesses continue their growth journeys despite struggling to afford new machinery.