Margate-based Speciality Breads has appointed Simon Cannell as the firm’s new managing director, following the announcement that current MD Peter Millen will retire later this year.

Cannell will take up the role on 5 September following four years at fresh produce business Chingford Fruit. Prior to that he spent seven years as head of bakery at Brakes, where he was responsible for creating and launching the La Boulangerie bakery brand.

Speciality Breads chairman Tony Markland said: “We’re delighted to welcome Simon to the company as he has an incredible skill-set and a proven track record in the bakery and foodservice sectors.  With the new bakery, an ever-growing premium portfolio and an incredibly skilled and hard-working team, Peter has left the company in an amazing place so we are confident Simon’s experience, expertise and ideas will only help us improve and grow further.” 

Millen, who became managing director in 2012, has been instrumental in turning Speciality Breads into one of the leading premium bakery brands in foodservice, said the company, with turnover increasing threefold and the company’s breads playing a starring role in the 2012 Olympics in London. More recently, he has overseen the launch of the company’s new £3m “state-of-the-art” bakery.

He will remain at Speciality Breads until Christmas to ensure a smooth handover and transition.

Speciality Breads has just "revolutionised" the palletising of artisanal loaves