Dessert firm tackles market problems

24 August, 2007
Page 8 
Leicester-based desserts company Vittles is planning to double the size of its business in the next three to four years.
The £2.5 million turnover business currently employs 50 people and makes between 1,000 and 2,000 dessert cakes a day.Director Julie Zalesny told British Baker that Vittles, which delivers frozen goods to a range of foodservice wholesalers and hoteliers throughout Europe, is building an extension to its factory, from 14,000sq ft to 18,000sq ft, with work scheduled to complete by the end of the year. The company plans to expand its foodservice distribution following the extension, she said, targeting additional wholesalers.Vittles was set up in 1990, in a suburb of Leicester, by husband and wife Martin and Julie Zalesny. Martin was a trained chef, working in Michelin-starred restaurants.Zalesny explained that the company has had its share of difficulties as it expanded. "We've overcome lots of problems, the biggest being red tape and tax issues. Red tape is a nightmare; we spent £5,000 sorting out our last tax inspections and a month in man hours. But more recently, we've had huge problems trying to export our products to Portugal and Norway because of the foot-and-mouth scares in the UK. We use a lot of dairy products, such as cream cheese, milk and cream." The firm favours old-fashioned traditional products such as crumbles and sticky toffee pudding. It has launched a new range of desserts, including: Chocolate, Honey & Yoghurt Cake; a Pineapple Caramel Crisp made from Florentine biscuit gateau; and a Lemon and Polenta cake.



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