Strawberry Jam Tarts - Finlay's Foods

Source: Finlay’s Foods

Bakery supplier Bako Group has acquired County Armagh-based ingredients firm James A. S. Finlay Ltd, which trades as Finlay’s Foods.

The deal, made for an undisclosed sum, will see Finlay’s Foods continue trading under its existing brand as part of the group.

Finlay’s Foods was founded in 1976 and has grown to employ around 60 workers at its purpose-built site in Craigavon. As a manufacturer and distributor of ingredients to the bakery and general food industry, its customer base extends throughout Northern Ireland and into the Republic of Ireland, as well as the wider UK, Europe and Asia regions.

Finlay's Foods premises in Craigavon, County Armagh, Northern Ireland  754x452

Source: Finlay’s Foods

Finlay’s Foods premises in Craigavon, County Armagh

Bako CEO Mike Tully said acquisition will open up new markets in Northern Ireland and beyond, offering significant growth opportunities for the company.

“Finlay’s Foods has established a strong presence and loyal customer base, which we intend to build upon and expand,” he commented.

“By integrating Finlay’s Foods’ product line with our own, we are able to diversify our offerings and enhance our competitive edge. Their expertise in bakery products complements our current portfolio and opens up a wide range of cross-selling opportunities.”

“This is a natural evolution that benefits both companies”

Finlay’s Foods would also provide substantial operational advantages for Bako, noted the CEO, including optimised supply chains, shared resources, and enhanced production capabilities.

“The additional resources and capabilities from this acquisition provide us with the ability to accelerate innovation and drive growth, aligning with our commitment to offering high-quality products and services and exploring new market segments,” he added.

Finlay’s Foods sales director Patrick Gracey revealed they had a long-standing relationship with Bako, both as a customer and supplier for over 20 years. “This is a natural evolution that benefits both companies and will enable us to build on our customer-focused approach, facilitating the delivery of more choice opportunities and benefits to our loyal customer base,” he said.

“Bako’s motto ‘By Bakers, for Bakers’ symbolises a passion and commitment to the industry that synergises with our own long-term ethos, and we are delighted to be part of this family of companies. We look forward to our journey ahead under the umbrella of such a trusted trade partner.”

Bako has over 70 vehicles in its delivery fleet supplying ingredients and finished products to independent bakers and caterers

Source: Bako Group

Bako uses a multi-temperature fleet of over 70 vehicles to provide independent bakers and caterers with a wide range of ingredients and finished products from suppliers as well as its own-label range, Bako Select. It operates three depots, in Preston, Durham and Wimbledon, which collectively employ 312 people. The company is owned by 694 shareholders, all of whom are bakers.

Diamond anniversary

Bako is marking its 60th birthday this year with 12 months of celebratory activities including a team challenge to take on Mount Kilimanjaro – the goal is to raise £60K for national charity Dementia UK.

The Bako team of four consists of employees Marta Skomoroko, Lucy John, Ian Best, and Joanna Walaszczyk, who will be led by Kilimanjaro Climbing Company to scale Africa’s highest peak in October. “We can’t wait to get going and are all feeling incredibly proud and excited to be taking on such a challenge in support of this incredible charity,” said Skomoroko.

L-R Bako employees Marta Skomoroko, Ian Best, Joanna Walaszczyk, and Lucy John

Source: Bako Group

(L-R): Bako employees Marta Skomoroko, Ian Best, Joanna Walaszczyk, and Lucy John

In addition to the trek, Bako is also launching 1960s themed baking competitions for staff and customers, a range of exclusive offers and giveaways, and an exclusive 60th birthday product launch from its Bako Select range.