Candy Cakes has signed its first international franchise deal with The Landmark Group, which will see 14 new outlets open in Dubai in the next year.

The privately-owned London-based retail bakery business opened its first outlet in the United Arab Emirates last week, with plans to open further sites in the region in shopping mall locations during the next 12 months.

Michael Thomaides, founder of Candy Cakes, told British Baker: “We were approached by The Landmark Group, which was looking for a cake brand to partner up with. At the time we weren’t really thinking about expanding as we are a small company, but they had the infrastructure in place to do it so it seemed like a good idea.

“Landmark has the manageability, resources and structure to make this process much easier, and partnering with a company of this size meant it could help us to save management costs and time.”

Candy Cakes has also revealed it intends to continue its international expansion programme, with discussions taking place with potential franchisees in Canada, India and China.

The firm, which currently employs 25 members of staff, is also looking to open further outlets in London to build on its current estate of five outlets, including a concession in toy store Hamleys, as well as expressing interest in opening shops outside the capital.

Thomaides added: “We are focused on London at the moment but we would look to franchise outside the capital if we find the right operator to manage this. We have had a lot of interest, but we are looking for someone with the same passion as ours.”

He explained the business had been steady in the last 12 months, with sales increasing for its internet and telesales division.