Brace’s set to re-open Welsh site

Brace’s Bakery has announced it will “grab hold of the reins” and reopen its Croespenmaen site, following a management shake-up.

The family-run firm closed the 60,000sq ft production facility in February this year because of tough market conditions in the sliced-bread sector.

The company said it was on course for 15% growth this year and would reopen the site near Crumlin to relieve pressure at its Rogerstone and Pen-y-Fan bakeries.

Director Jonathan Brace said: “We’ve had a bit of a management reshuffle and some of the top people have gone. My brother [managing director Mark Brace] and I saw this as an opportunity to grab hold of the reins a little bit.

He added the two other sites were very full and they felt the company needed to “reinvigorate the Croespenmaen site to get it back up and running”.

He also said the firm previously considered selling the site, but its state-of-the-art equipment meant it was better to keep hold of it.

Production is due to restart there by Christmas – the move follows a diversification for the business from sliced bread into the foodservice sector, supplying products to sandwich-makers.

Managing director Mark Brace said: “I am very excited about the future, and while the marketplace is changing rapidly, we are seeing the efforts of our labour starting to bear fruit.

“We see this as an opportunity to refocus our business and look carefully at the changing market trends and invent a few of our own, to give a long-term sustainable future to our loyal work force, who have performed admirably in these difficult business and market conditions.”

Jonathan Brace said the firm hoped to gradually add to its current 280-strong workforce by increasing output at Croespenmaen, which he said was capable of baking around 6,500 loaves an hour with its two production lines.

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