Bakery chain Cooplands (Doncaster) is planning to expand into wholesale for the first time, after being awarded a BRC rating. The company was recently audited against BRC issue 5 and awarded a Grade B.

Previously, the firm had only manufactured products to sell in its 75-shop estate, but has worked with the Regional Food Group (RFG) for Yorkshire and Humber for the last three years on moving into wholesale. The RFG aims to develop the region’s food and drink sector by delivering trade development, offered through targeted business assistance.

"Our objective over the past five years has been to develop a state-of-the-art pastry department that gives consistent quality and drives down production costs for the supply of fresh and frozen pastries for bake off in our retail outlets," explained Alan Jacques, purchasing and operations manager.

This objective has seen the installation of a temperature-controlled production hall, a new Rondo Pastry Make-up line, a spiral freezer and a 250-pallet freezer. "From the outset we realised that this would give us large excess capacity, and enable us to develop a wholesale business. Our current focus is to make potential customers aware of our move into this market."

Jacques said Cooplands’ main focus will remain on its core retail business, "with no alterations to our existing plans for expansion." It will treat its wholesale business as a separate entity. "We have also recently purchased two Jiffy vans offering a delivery service to businesses in and around Doncaster," he added.