The Artful Baker

Source: The Artful Baker

A selection of sweet Biscotti Thins and savoury Biscotti Nibbles made by The Artful Baker

Biscotti specialist The Artful Baker has closed its business after failing to contend with soaring input costs.

The Dorset-based artisan bakery brand, which received a six-figure investment from Warburtons in 2021 via its Batch Ventures innovation fund, appointed liquidators from insolvency firm Leonard Curtis on 5 April to conduct the winding up process.

“It is with great regret that The Artful Baker has had to close its doors due to the inflationary pressures that have made it unviable for us to keep trading,” commented founder Paul Rostand.

“Initially, we had Covid and then followed by unprecedented raw material, energy, and labour increases. We would like to thank all our customers and suppliers over the years that have supported us, and it’s been a pleasure to work with you.”

A statement from Leonard Curtis said it had worked to support the manufacturer, but noted attempts at finding a buyer were unsuccessful. It added that, after experiencing cash flow issues in recent months, the company had now been liquidated with a total of nine staff made redundant.

“This case reflects the difficulties companies are facing in the food and drink sector right now,” said Leonard Curtis director David Smithson, who was joint liquidator with his colleague Michael Fortune.

“We are disappointed that no jobs could be saved in this scenario – but all assets have been sold following the liquidation of the business.”

“What we do is unique within the baking industry”

The Artful Baker, which was previously known as The Great British Biscotti Co before rebranding in 2021, produced its range of artisanal biscuits out of a unit in Somerford Business Park in Christchurch. Items were supplied to the independent and foodservice sectors including delis, cafés, hamper specialists, and The National Trust, along with retailer listings.

Its offerings included sweet biscotti bites and single batons in flavours like Salted Caramel, Pecan & Roasted Hazelnut, and Sour Cherry & Dark Chocolate, as well as savoury biscotti nibbles with combinations such as Fennel Pink Peppercorn & Sea Salt, and Smoked Jalapeno & Lime.

Over the years, it also added vegan and gluten-free NPD, and collaborated with Hotel Chocolat and John Lewis on private label products.

Prior to its rebranding, The Great British Biscotti Co won the Customer Focus Award at the Baking Industry Awards 2019. “What we do is unique within the baking industry, particularly in relation to biscotti, as our products are very different to the rock-hard, dry Italian products,” commented Rostand at the time.