Hartlepool-based frozen desserts company Bonne Bouche has pledged to develop a range of retail brands after being restructured by the venture capitalists which back it.

Financial director Richard Dean told British Baker the company’s strategy is to “continue as a leading frozen desserts manufacturer in the UK”.

It will continue to offer own-brand products at all price points, but also develop bran-ded products in the future, he said, adding that the company wants to ensure a “decent split between all price points”. The firm will also develop its foodservice business.

Bonne Bouche has appointed two new directors to drive forward the new strategy – part-time chairman Steve Baker and operations director Jan Konig, both formerly of Norfolk-based ready meals company Oriental Express Frozen Foods.

In December British Baker reported that Bonne Bouche’s founder and MD Wayne Hitch-man had left suddenly in a shake-up by Bonne Bouche’s backers (British Baker, December 9, pg 5). Following his departure, the position of MD will not be filled, Mr Dean said. Instead, he and Mr Konig will manage the day-to-day running of Bonne Bouche.

The recent strategic review also led to 30 redundancies, Mr Dean told British Baker. These cuts include approximately 18 management positions. The company is left with 240 staff, Mr Dean said.

Bonne Bouche was created in July 2004 by a management buy-out of Freshbake’s Hartlepool site, after Freshbake went into receivership. The site was originally a Hibernia

Foods plant.