South Wales-based La Crème Patisserie & Catering Co plans to expand its retail and wholesale operations, having completed the purchase of a new factory unit on the Baglan Moors in Neath Port Talbot.

Directors Siân and Ian Hindle hope the new unit, the La Crème Centre of Excellence, will be fully operational by March 2009.

The firm’s fortunes were boosted when Siân Hindle was awarded runner-up in the Puratos-sponsored Patissier of the Year category at the Baking Industry Awards 2007. Prior to 2008, around 90% of the firm’s sales were from selling patisserie directly to consumers. But from January 2008, it started supplying cafés, coffee shops and hotels. The £24,000 centre, which will employ 10 people, will also house a wedding and birthday cake studio.