L-R Jones Village Bakery's commercial controller Glen Marriott, commercial director Lesley Arnot, and operations director Simon Thorpe

Source: Jones Village Bakery

L-R: Jones Village Bakery’s commercial controller Glen Marriott, commercial director Lesley Arnot, and operations director Simon Thorpe celebrate the Australia pancake supply deal outside of their production site in Wrexham Industrial Estate

Jones Village Bakery has secured a “lucrative contract” to supply pancakes to a major Australian wholesale and distribution firm.

The Wrexham-based manufacturer, which began operations of its new £2m pancake line just before Shrove Tuesday last year, said it hoped the deal would “open the door to sending a raft of other products to the new market Down Under”.

An initial agreement with the unnamed distributor has Jones Village Bakery supplying three flavours of American-style pancakes – buttermilk, blueberry, and lemon. These will be frozen by cold storage specialist Norish, located less than 500 yards from the 140,000 sq ft ‘super bakery’ site in Wrexham Industrial Estate. With a 12-month shelf life, the frozen pancakes will be sent on a 42-day journey to Australia.

Production has been moved up to seven days per week on the 20-metre-long pancake line, capable of making 34,000 units an hour, with a further 20 new jobs adding to the 20 created when it came online last year. Jones Village Bakery had previously announced the recruitment of 30 new night jobs last May in response to soaring demand for its flagship bread products.

The business, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, called exports an essential ingredient in its growth having made successful expansions into the France and Germany markets. It confirmed its overseas sales had already topped the £5m mark, as predicted last year, and was forecast to double to £10m over the next 12 months.

26-1-23 VB Pancakes-3

Source: Jones Village Bakery

The pancake line at Jones Village Bakery’s facility in Wrexham Industrial Estate

New Zealander Glen Marriot, commercial controller at Jones Village Bakery, was said to have played a key role in securing the Australia contract. “The distributor was looking for a new supplier and Googled people who make pancakes and we popped up,” Marriot revealed.

“They liked our values and how we promote from within, the quality of the products and the facilities and that prompted a phone call from their managing director and it went from there. They have national reach so these products will be going across the whole of the country, from Western Australia right across the Eastern seaboard.”

According to Marriot, phase one of the deal will see pancakes going into cafes and restaurants as well as catering companies that service Australia’s huge mining industry. “While it might seem odd that a guy from New Zealand, who works in Wales is selling pancakes to Australia, I think it helps the process that I’m from that part of the world because I know how they do business,” he added.

Jones Village Bakery commercial director Lesley Arnot, who joined from Grupo Bimbo in early 2022, said it “speaks volumes about the excellence” of their products that they were selling them to the other side of the world, noting that the fluffy, American-style pancakes were different to the ones that had over there.

“We’re already talking to them about gluten free products and a whole range of other things,” commented Arnot. “They’re particularly excited about pikelets which is like a thin crumpet and it’s brilliant that a quintessentially Welsh product could be finding a home in Australia.”