White’s wins contracts with major retailers

Family-run White’s Bakery has won contracts with John Lewis and Asda, as part of its plans to build on four years of successive growth. 

The fourth-generation business has reported a steep increase in orders and a turnover of £2.6m.

The bakery has a contract to design and bake Victorian gingerbread figures for John Lewis to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

Another order with Asda stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland will see the bakery send over 200,000 Madeira cakes to the supermarkets in the run-up to Christmas.

Barnsley-based White’s Bakery manufactures a wide range of cakes, cookies and bread products for wholesale and retail customers.

The business is now entering its 80th anniversary year, and has launched a new marketing drive and growth strategy. The growth strategy is supported by Enterprising Barnsley, a European-funded programme, delivered by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

David White, managing director, said: “We are always handling fresh enquiries and repeat orders and have an excellent relationship with our existing customers whether they are the local corner shop or a national food production company.

“We’ve had four straight years of growth, following the quieter years of recession, and what we’d like to do now is expand our customer base further. We have the capacity to expand, so we are stepping up our marketing drive.”

Sales of the bakery’s premium Fairtrade cookies have quadrupled in the past two years. Most of the cookies are delivered to London’s universities, colleges and coffee shops.

White said: “Our schools are very important customers to us. Their goods have to be baked and delivered daily and they have to meet all government-required low-fat, low-sugar and low salt content levels. We are committed to our schools and have doubled the number we supply across the region in the past two years.”

The company is also looking at developing specific goods that are needed for its customers, and is currently developing a mini Eccles cake for a catering company, which supplies airlines like Emirates.

The family bakery business was established in 1934 by David’s grandparents Albert and Elsie White.

Shaun Higginbottom, business development manager at Enterprising Barnsley, said: “This is an exciting time for White’s Bakery as it puts fresh impetus into its drive to seek new customers and explore new markets.

“White’s is a perfect example of a family firm which understands the value of its heritage but looks to the future too. We look forward to seeing the business expand and in the next few years, building on its first 80 years.”

Enterprising Barnsley is supported financially by the European Union and has £2,259,511 of investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

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