Wholesaler Bako Western has relocated to a new depot on an industrial estate a mile away from its original site in Cullompton, Devon. The new 40,000sq ft building on the Kingsmill industrial estate has a 1,000 pallet capacity freezer, office space and a test bakery.
It is set in a 4.5-acre site, which gives the wholesaler capacity for future expansion, Bako Western told British Baker in a statement.
The supplier had outgrown its original three-acre site, which opened in 1985. This site had expanded to two buildings and additional leased storage, it explained. The need for further frozen storage capacity had been a key reason for the relocation project.
The new site, which opened at the end of May, will enable Bako to obtain bulk purchase discounts, particularly on frozen goods. Frozen and chilled goods now account for over 35% of its turnover.
Although the total floor area of the new site is similar to the previous premises, it is a single building, almost double the height and therefore with much greater internal capacity, said the wholesaler.
The new facility has been built at dock level with dock seals, which improve the working conditions and the efficiency of vehicle loading and unloading.
It stocks approximately 2,500 product lines and Bako Western also organises purchases of a further 1,200 products for direct delivery to customers. The wholesaler employs 65 staff with all employees transferring from the original site to the new one.
Chairman Bob Burns said: “The existence and sole purpose of Bako Western is to serve its members.” The official opening will take place on 8 October as part of Bako’s annual trade show, which is being held at the new site. Bako Western will also be hosting the Western Region National Association of Master Bakers’ bakery championships on the same day. Up to 100 trade stands are expected at the event.
Bako Western is one of five regional co-ops in the £100m turnover Bako group.