After 100 years of family ownership, Dorset-based Thomas J Fudge’s has secured investment from mid-market private equity business Livingbridge.
Thomas J Fudge’s of Stalbridge, Dorset, aims to establish itself as the UK’s number one premium biscuit brand. Its crackers and florentines are stocked by supermarkets, including Waitrose, Tesco, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer, as well as retailers such as Fortnum & Mason and Harvey Nichols.
Brothers Steve and Graham Fudge, alongside Graham’s wife Sue, currently run the business, employing 133 staff at a 32,000sq ft site in Stalbridge, Dorset.
The bakery produced approximately 6.5 million biscuits per week during 2015.
Livingbridge is backing Paul Vita and Vickie Best, currently commercial and operations director respectively. Vita and Best will be taking an ownership role, and will run the business as joint managing directors.
Vita said: “The new partnership and investment from Livingbridge brings great opportunities at this exciting time within the premium biscuit category, to further drive value and distribution.”
Steve Fudge said: “We are thrilled to be passing it [the business] on to Livingbridge as the guardians of our heritage, with exciting plans for growth.
“With younger generations of the Fudge family focusing on their own careers, we have been looking for some time to find the right buyer for us, our colleagues and our customers and, in Livingbridge, we have found just that.”
In March 2015, Thomas J Fudge’s Remarkable Bakery launched a raft of new savoury products in Waitrose.