Patisserie Valerie is to franchise its offering to overseas markets, following a deal that has established an undisclosed franchise agent in the Middle East.

The first Middle Eastern store will appear next year, followed by "an aggressive roll-out of 15 stores in three years", said Paul May, MD of Patisserie Holdings, part of private equity group Risk Capital Partners, which bought a majority stake in Patisserie Valerie in 2006.

"Our partner in the Middle East is a very big operator with 4,500 employees, so slowly but surely, we’re going to start building that side of the business," said May. "It’s a business that has a great brand and we want to grow and protect that brand."

Talks are now under way to pursue similar ventures in India, Pakistan, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong, and there are long-term plans to take the brand to the US.

In March, May revealed to British Baker that Patisserie Holdings, which also owns 40-shop Midlands-based patisserie chain Druckers, was targeting a total of 125 Patisserie Valerie stores in the UK, growing it from the current 12 stores within three to five years. This would be via a mix of new store openings and conversion of some of its Druckers-branded outlets, which it acquired last year. None of the UK outlets will be franchised.


=== In Short ===

== SA baker brings in first green bags ==

South African baker Albany Bakeries has launched the country’s first biodegradable bread bags. The bags are designed to disintegrate after a year. A spokesman for the company said biodegradable bags are only marginally more expensive to produce than non-biodegradable ones.

== Price rise for eggs ==

The latest National Farmer’s Union (NFU) figures have revealed the price of eggs has risen dramatically. Last year a dozen free-range eggs cost around £1.75, whereas this year they can cost up to £2.50. The figures also show it only costs 84p to produce a dozen free-range eggs.

== Sugar Cup winner ==

The British Sugar Cup for cake baking excellence was won by Indika Jayasena of Prestige Creations. The student competition was held on 3 May during the Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees (ABST) annual conference in Blackpool.

== Canadean extends research reach ==

International beverage research and consultancy specialist Canadean have acquired Landell Mills Consulting, a leading packaging consultancy, from Landell Mills, of Trowbridge, England. Chief executive Kelsey van Musschenbroek said: "This deal will enable us to strengthen our existing beverage packaging services, as well as move quickly into other areas of food and packaging."

== Sainsbury’s deal ==

Grahams Home Bakery in Dromore, Co Down, has signed a deal to supply cake and bun lines to 10 Sainsbury’s stores in Northern Ireland. The deal is worth around £200,000.