Winner WC Rowe
W C Rowe has two bakeries and 17 retails outlets in Devon and Cornwall and serves the major multiples with breads, cakes, confectionery and savouries. It is one of the largest employers in the area, with 450 staff, and turns over £20 million per annum.
The judges were impressed by the company’s "clear passion for delivering great-tasting products", and its great service to customers.
When Sainsbury’s looked for solutions to boost its flagging scone sales, W C Rowe produced three premium varieties - including Cornish Clotted Cream and Davidstow Cheddar - all featuring locally-sourced ingredients. This commitment to regional sourcing, as well as to traditional baking methods, was also praised.
The company’s managing director Alan Pearce believes the success of the range lies mainly in the strong working relationship with Sainsbury’s.
Finalist Genesis Breads
Magherafelt, Co Londonderry
Famous for its craft morning goods, such as pancakes, potato and soda breads, Genesis is the 10-year-old brand of 40-year-old McErlain Bakery. It produces primarily for multiples in Northern Ireland, although 20% of sales now come from the south. Sales and marketing manager Liesa Johnston acknowledges that Sainsbury’s has played a big part in helping the company gain a foothold on the mainland.
When Sainsbury’s asked for help with its declining scone sales, Genesis applied its "young, funky and quirky" style to create first Double Butter Succulent Sultana and then Yoghurt & Cranberry scones, as well as Big Pancakes.
Johnston says Genesis’ strong working partnership with Sainsbury’s meant the bakery was able to create a perfectly-targeted product for them.
Finalist Proper Cornish
Proper Cornish produces frozen and chilled pasties, slices and sausage rolls for national foodservice clients such as Delice de France, Compass and Country Choice. It boasts an annual turnover of around £10 million.
The 30-year-old company sources from local suppliers. "We’re proud of our provenance," says marketing manager Mark Muncey. "Our products are truly Proper Cornish."
Muncey also says the firm is proud of its superior service and strong client relationships, citing a joint promotion with client Presto. "Research showed the shops required greater product diversity, so we ran a competition to devise a new flavour. It was judged by a Michelin-starred chef and the winning entry was an amalgamation of two iconic dishes - a fish & chip pasty!"
The results attracted publicity from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand.