CSM’s purchase of Kate’s Cakes is a smart move (pg 4). It not only opens new doors for CSM in the UK via its subsidiary BakeMark UK, but also new opportunities in Europe.
However, its decision to let Kate’s Cakes run more or less independently is wise, too, and is not a contradiction if the two work in ’harmony’.
The Wirral, where BakeMark is based, and West Sussex, the headquarters of Kate’s Cakes, are miles apart, but Kate’s MD Steven Greenhalgh’s skill in building up key accounts and producing ’cakes with a twist’, ideally suited to its coffee shop customers, provides a formula that works.
When one successful business takes over another, the best thing they can do is listen to one another. Pooling expertise works far better than imposing your philosophy or way of doing things on the newly acquired company - particularly if they have a proven track record.
So congratulations to the two companies! We hope to be updating readers on the shared opportunities shortly.
If you want to be reminded of what is so inspiring about this industry, then do read about the people running two entirely different companies. Peter Cook runs a one-shop craft bakery in Ludlow (pg 20). He is a passionate baker who cares about the art of his craft, the quality of his goods and his relationship not only with his customers but with his community. People like Pete keep all of us - bakers, journa-lists, members of the public - in touch with what is so great about making ’the staff of life’.
The second of the two, JG Ross, started with one shop in 1962. From the family’s new £4.2m factory, it now supplies its own 25 outlets, plus supermarkets and wholesale. On pg 16 you can really sense how the family is driving the business forwards. But equally, you can sense the wisdom behind every well thought-out decision.
Finally, Leigh Anne Carr gives an interesting insight into her daily job as a buyer at Booths supermarket chain. The company’s success in bakery speaks for itself, with turnover up 30% year-on-year. Leigh Anne explains what she does and does not want from suppliers - and hark! Did you see that comment? Can anyone out there supply thin-sliced bread? If so, Leigh Anne is waiting to hear from you!