Wrexham-based Village Bakery has struck a deal to supply Spar stores in north Wales with its gluten-free range.

A total of 60 stores will stock products from the new Gluten Freedom brand, which was launched earlier this year and includes seeded loaves, seeded sandwich thins and white rolls.

Until now, the range has only been available in independent stores in north Wales, Cheshire, Merseyside and Shropshire. However, the company has said it has been receiving enquiries from across the UK and from European countries including Belgium, France, Holland and Scandinavia.

Currently Village Bakery manufactures gluten-free products at its original site, but due to growing demand the company has invested £12m in developing a former wire factory into a gluten-free production site. Described as the “most advanced bakery of its kind in Europe”, the facility is due to be operational by the end of the year, making items such as naan breads, pitta breads and pancakes.

As a result of the expansion, the company is in the process of recruiting 20 new apprentices.

“We’ve had an absolutely fantastic response to the Gluten Freedom range from our customers,” said managing director Robin Jones.

“We’re setting a new benchmark in gluten-free products, so everything is now set for the opening of our new gluten-free bakery in December. This is a step-change for the business in many respects and why we are taking on 20 new apprentices.”

Village Bakery’s free-from Belgian Chocolate Twists have been shortlisted in the Free-from Bakery Product of the Year category at British Baker’s Baking Industry Awards 2018, while the is in the running for the Customer Focus Award.