Leicester-based Geary’s Bakery – which is set to launch a branded bread range – is to ramp up its growth following a major investment by the Unsworth family.

The Unsworths, who founded Aimia Foods and later sold it to Cott Corporation, have taken a majority stake in the 113-year-old family business.

Fourth-generation baker Jason Geary will remain as managing director, with Rob Unsworth coming on board as chairman.

The business plans to focus on innovation, with the introduction of ‘world-first’ technology, a new plant and further employment.

Geary’s has been working for 18 months on developing its own brand of quality, affordable breads, due to launch early next year, and has a listing with a major retailer.

The business, which has seen 65% growth over the past couple of years, operates from two purpose-built factories. It previously invested £15m in its site at Glenfield to meet growth in demand from its biggest customer, Aldi.

Geary’s produces breads in small batches using a 40-year-old sour culture and 24-hour fermentation.

“The business has seen a substantial turn in fortune over the last decade and, in most recent years, the investment ploughed into the company has ensured an enviable trajectory of growth,” said Jason Geary.

“The investment will enable our future plans to become a reality and we are excited about the partnership and this next chapter.”

Rob Unsworth said his family had been watching Geary’s for some years and saw a business that “exceeded on quality, has first-class facilities and delivered a strong sales growth”.

“It was clear this was a business we wanted to be a part of,” he added. “Our aim is to support the existing infrastructure and add value. We have an ambitious growth target over the next couple of years and, together, we are nothing but confident in achieving it.”

Unsworth previously ran Aimia Foods, which was founded by Ian and Gary Unsworth, his father, in 1981.