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This category celebrates craft bakeries of all kinds, whether single shops, multiple high street stores or wholesale businesses.
Winner: Stephens Bakery
Fourth-generation family business Stephens Bakery, headquartered in Dunfermline, employs 240 people, boasts 14 retail shops and six snack delivery vehicles and operates a number of convenience bakery partnerships with the likes of Co-op, Scotmid, McColl’s and independent retails.
Stephens has a team of over 100 bakers who freshly prepare all of its products every day, including its hero lines: morning rolls and steak bridies. All of this is a far cry from its humble beginnings as a small bakery in its hometown.
The company’s recent story is exemplary of the way craft bakery businesses responded to the challenges of the Covid-19. The company went into the pandemic with no online sales and emerged with revenue of over £950,000. According to the judges, this reflected Stephens Bakery’s innovative spirit, teamwork and loyal customer base, showing it “really went the extra mile”.
Managing director, Andre Sarafilovic, says the bakery is “humbled and privileged” to serve its local areas, and the company’s community efforts stood out to the judges. Also winning the panel’s approval was the range of quality handcrafted products, made to “a very high standard”.
The judges assessed Stephens to be an outstanding craft bakery, with panel unanimously awarding the business high scores across key assessment areas including employee training and development, current and predicted business growth, product range, craft skills and product quality.
Finalist: The Bread Factory
Supplying foodservice and grocery businesses – as well as its sister neighbourhood bakeries in London, Brighton, Oxford and Cambridge under the Gail’s brand – The Bread Factory was founded in 1993.
The wide range of products produced from the company’s London base include bespoke artisan breads, morning goods, viennoisseries, cakes, sweets, desserts and crackers. The judges were impressed with the high quality of the bakery’s output, as well as the team’s skills base used to manufacture the products.
The company expresses a “strong belief” that if it bakes “a range of high quality and delicious baked goods, our customers will find products that suit them”.
The was reflected in the pride taken by the team in hand-finishing the products, which caught the panel’s eye, along with how successfully the company has continued to expand and grow.
Finalist: Mimi’s Bakehouse
Edinburgh-based Mimi’s Bakehouse recently is coming up to 11 years in business. Owner Michelle Phillips – alias Mimi – opened her first store in Leith in November 2010 and since then it has added to its estate with outlets at Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the City Art Centre and Lauriston Castle.
A real family affair, Phillips works at the business with her husband, three daughters and son in law. As well as the stores, the bakery has pop-up vans that travel to events and locations outside of Edinburgh, and the business also delivers across the UK via orders on its website.
When the judges visited Mimi’s Bakehouse the quality and taste of the products was found to be “exemplary”, along with the skills, passion and dedication shown by all the staff.
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Baking Industry Awards 2021: Craft Bakery Business Award