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New for the 2022 Baking Industry Awards, Online Bakery Business of the Year recognises the changing way consumers buy delicious baked goods and the companies that serve them.


Brightly coloured doughnuts in a pink box

Source: Project D

Winner: Project D

Project D has made great strides since its inception in 2018. The Derby-based doughnut specialist originally had its sights set on the UK high street but pivoted to a predominantly online business as the pandemic hit. Now it delivers luxury hand-decorated doughnuts to doorsteps across the UK and promotes its products via occasional pop-up stands and its first permanent store in Loughborough.

The business is run by three friends who are all still aged under 30 and aim their product firmly at other millennials. Its large and engaged social media audience is besotted with its products and last year alone Project D achieved a 20% increase in turnover.

Alongside online, it has begun exploring new routes to market and is currently selling 6,000 doughnuts a week through its wholesale routes. These are through independent coffee shops, garden centres and university campuses, from locations as far apart as South Shields and Tamworth.

The founders – Matthew Bond, Max Poynton, and Jacob Watts – believe their biggest success of the past 12 months is successfully upscaling the business in a sustainable manner. This included the installation of the bakery’s mezzanine floor which allowed the company to invest in the £300,000 doughnut line allowing it to increase production by five times.

The judges said the brightly coloured and cheekily named products were delicious and they had had trouble selecting from among the fashionable fillings. They praised the site as easy to navigate and said product arrived swiftly in pristine condition on every order.


Lottie Shaw's cookies and fudge in branded boxes

Source: Lottie Shaw’s

Finalist: Lottie Shaw’s

Turnover at Lottie Shaw’s grew by 138% last year with online orders accounting for 60% of the total. From its bakery in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, this family-owned third generation business bakes from scratch and offers several signature recipes such as Yorkshire Parkin. Since the business first went online in 2019 it has garnered over 4,750 reviews – 98% of which are five-star.

During Covid the bakery developed a corporate gift section that grew so quickly from 40 to 4,000 orders a week that Lottie Shaw’s integrated its systems with DPD’s to increase efficiency. The judges commended the bakery for its delivery service, clear pricing, quality products, and ambition to set up an online international gifting service.


Lovingly Artisan Sourdough Box

Source: Lovingly Artisan

Finalist: Lovingly Artisan

Products ordered from the Lovingly Artisan site arrived with a handwritten note on how to store the items and best enjoy them which, said the judges, was a great added touch that fitted with the ethos of the main bakery.

The bakery’s online business was, like many, established during Covid, and developed to maintain the company’s core values and ‘Northern Soul’. Each loaf dispatched is wrapped in branded eco-friendly bags that are lined with natural wax to keep them fresher for longer. The judges praised the ease of site ordering, plus the product quality on arrival.