Peter Hunt’s Bakery has signed a deal with Birds Eye to supply all its pies, which has seen the Bolton-based firm begin production for the first time since it was purchased last year.

The bakery, bought by the David Wood Baking Group in October 2008, will supply around 40 million pies a year to Birds Eye, as well as producing its Chicken Lattice range.

"The bakery has just re-opened, and we’ve put in extra equipment and refurbished the site," MD David Wood told British Baker. "We are now installing machinery to manufacture an extensive range of pre-proved frozen ready-to-bake Viennoiserie products, including Danish pastries and croissants, for the growing in-store bakery market."

Wood, former MD at Country Style Foods, formed the David Wood Baking Group in June 2008, with the acquisition of a former Medway Foods site in Sheerness, Kent, which currently produces frozen savoury pasties, sausages rolls, slices and pies. This was followed by the acquisition of the Butcher & Baker site in Dudley, West Midlands, which produces stone-baked frozen speciality rustic and ciabatta-style breads.

Wood said the group had been in talks with Birds Eye last year, but that its Sheerness site didn’t have sufficient capacity. "That’s one of the reasons we bought the Peter Hunt’s premises," he said.

Wood added that the three businesses are continuing to trade under their existing names due to their separate reputations in the industry.

The Peter Hunt’s site currently has around 30 staff, but Wood said it will be ramping up production over the next couple of months, and it plans to take on another 60 employees. The new jobs will be mainly in production, but there will also be oppor- tunities for technical experts and engineers.

Peter Hunt’s produces a range of savoury slices, pies, pasties and sausage rolls, which it supplies to both the retail bake-off and foodservice sectors. The pies, produced at the Lyon Road site in Kearsley for Birds Eye, will be in supermarket freezers by the end of the month.

Peter Hunt’s was previously part of Lyndale Group, which went into administration in June last year.