Marshfield BAKERY’S production of cakes and snack bars for the Christmas rush should begin by early September in new premises, which are currently being built.
The company is investing about £180,000 of its own money to take on larger orders, as well as targeting further orders in the foodservice market to reduce the seasonal ups and downs of its business, said sales and marketing director Ben White.
His parents Paul and Lynne set up the business in 1984 in their kitchen in Marshfield, Wiltshire. He said the new factory, a converted barn near the M4’s junction 18, was about five times larger than the present building on the White couple’s nearby farm in Marshfield. The company had to expand to exploit opportunities or go into decline, he said: “We sell up or we move.”
The company’s turnover is about £350,000 a year, said White. “We hope to do six- or seven-fold that in the next three to five years.” Apart from the Whites, the business has nine full-time staff and a couple of part-timers baking up to 8,000 trays of product – or 15,000 bars – a week.
Products include shortbreads, flapjacks, fruitcakes and mince pies. The plain flapjack remains the best-seller, said White.
Production improvements at the new factory, including better packaging using new flow-wrapping, cutting and labelling equipment, should allow extra output without more production workers. However, the firm would probably take on a couple of extra office staff and a sales person in the new year, said White.
Marshfield sells directly through outlets such as farm shops, delicatessens and coffee shops, and through wholesalers. The catering distributor 3663 recently began selling Marshfield’s products in the South West.