Sussex-based handmade cake business More Foods – which supplies retailers including Waitrose and Budgens – has been rescued in a pre-pack deal.
Administrators were appointed on 1 September this year, and the business and assets of the company immediately sold as part of a going concern to Sussex Bakes. The deal has saved the jobs of all 150 staff at the Chichester business.
More Food was established 14 years ago, but founding director Caron Howe previously ran a coffee shop in Chichester serving homemade cakes, scones and sandwiches.
As demand grew and local wholesalers approached the business about supplying them with baked products, Howe sold the coffee shop to concentrate on wholesale cakes and confectionery products. More Food was established in 2003 and took on a leasehold factory in Chichester.
The business grew until it was turning over more than £8m a year, and moved to a purpose-built, 8,000 sq ft factory premises in the town.
The costs of the move and fit-out of the new site, combined with raw material cost increases following the Brexit vote, put “substantial strain” on the business, according to administrators Andrew Duncan and Alex Cadwallader at Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group.
Despite seeking additional investment, the directors were unable to save the business, and it entered administration.
“The sale of the business via a pre-pack ensures the continued employment of all 150 members of staff and means work at the bakery can continue as it did before under the new ownership of Sussex Bakes,” said Duncan.