Sussex retail and café business Jempson’s is to create a ‘state of the art’ bakery operation in partnership with The Rye Bakery.

Family-owned independent Jempson’s – which runs supermarkets, convenience stores and cafés – is to merge and combine its bakery operation with The Rye Bakery.

Founded in 1989 by Glenn Croucher, The Rye Bakery has a wholesale bakery business serving farm shops, hotels, restaurants and independent stores in East Sussex and Kent, and three stand-alone shops in Hastings and Ore, East Sussex; and Hawkhurst, Kent.

Croucher will be the production manager at the bakery operation in Rye, which will produce bread and morning goods from next month. Cake production will remain at Jempson’s Peasmarsh Superstore, where it has operated a bakery for more than 80 years.

The new Rye site will become a “modern, state of the art bakery”, said the businesses, with more room to supply Jempson’s stores as well as The Rye Bakery shops and wholesale customers. The Rye Bakery branded goods will be distributed throughout Jempson’s stores.

“By bringing our combined production, expertise, proven methods and pride together, we will produce an enhanced range that still maintains the very highest standards and quality,” said Croucher.

Jempson’s joint owner Stephen Jempson said the move would give the retailer opportunity to grow and supply more stores and cafés in the future.

“The convergence of the two companies will create economies of scale and synergies which will make the production unit that much more efficient and future-proof the business,” he added.

Established in 1935, independent family owned business Jempson’s has supermarkets, convenience stores, petrol station, post office counters, pharmacy and cafés in and around East Sussex.