Rich Products says it has invested £1m at its bakeries, including the former David Powell bakery in Fareham, as part of a plan to become the UK’s leading supplier of premium baked goods.

Rich has relocated the bread bakery and refurbished all the ovens at the Fareham bakery, acquired from David Powell in June 2005. It has also bought new bread chillers and

provers and installed automatic cup cake icing equipment. And it has enhanced its end-of-the-line wrapping facilities for all products made at the site.

Rich Products has also upgraded its original cookie manufacturing plant in Kidder-minster, Worcestershire, instal-ling new bake-off facilities, to increase capacity. This will

enable it to produce a broader range of baked and wrapped premium products and allow it to deliver frozen pucks or thaw-and-serve products in a variety of wrapped and packed formats, it says.

The Worcestershire factory will remain the firm’s primary cookie manufacturing facility, but both sites will manufacture both Rich and David Powell branded products.

The investment is the first phase of a long-term plan to develop the business in the UK and grow both the Rich and David Powell brands. The second phase will see Rich merge its head office into one central location at Fareham, the former David Powell site, bringing together both the sales and marketing teams for the Rich and David Powell ranges.

Managing director George Thomopoulos said: “This is an exciting time for Rich and comes after a period of intensive planning and analysis into how we can really develop the business. Rich has huge ambitions in the UK; the acquisition of David Powell was just the beginning and there’s plenty more to come.

“Now that we have completed our first phase of investment and are moving our head office to Fareham to be closer to the majority of our customers, we are perfectly placed to drive our business plan forward and achieve our goal of becoming the UK’s leading supplier of premium bespoke baked goods,” he added.