A new take on the traditional crumpet has been a world-wide hit for a North Wales bakery – and it’s now also won a gold award.
Bosses at the Village Bakery are delighted at the runaway success of their sour dough crumpets and are now exploring the possibility of exporting them to Japan.
They’re already sold in the UK, across mainland Europe, in India, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Middle East.
It’s all come about because of a £2 million investment in a new crumpet-making production line at one of the company’s two bakeries on Wrexham Industrial Estate which has created 36 new jobs.
Confirmation that that investment is paying dividends came at the Great Taste Awards, the Oscars of the food industry, where the sour dough crumpets won a one-star gold award.
In addition, the family firm’s hand-raised pork pie made at their bakery in Minera, near Wrexham, won a two-star gold at the same event.
Last year the Village Bakery was named as the fastest growing manufacturer in Wales at the Fast Growth 50 awards, having been crowned the fastest growing Welsh company the previous year.
Earlier this year, the firm’s new £3 million Baking Academy and Innovation Centre – the first of its kind in the UK – was officially opened by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Managing Director Robin Jones said: “We’ve only been making the sour dough crumpets since last December and they have been a fantastic line for us.
“The sales have really taken off like a rocket. We were always confident they would do well because they’re a fantastic product but we we’re absolutely gobsmacked by the level of sales.
“We’ve taken a good old traditional product and we’ve added taste and flavour by going back to basics.
“We’ve got a great recipe which we spent a lot of time developing. It’s fermented for longer, the sour dough element, and we also cook it for longer.
“It’s baked on the griddle for a lot longer than a normal crumpet and the flavour really comes through.
“Our recipe for success is combining a great new production line and brilliant team of passionate people.
“It was a big investment but we could see the potential of the sour dough crumpets and we have already done something similar with other products.
“In that sense, we are repeating the success of our Welsh Cakes, scones and pikelets which have formed the basis of our spectacular growth over the past four years.
“The crumpets and some of our other singnature products are now being sold all over the world. We were in Japan last week and we can see a great market for them there. I think that’ll be the next market to crack.
“The credit must go to the people who make our products, the Village People who deserve to be very proud of what they have achieved.”
The company’s success is a source of great pride to David Costa, the production supervisor on the crumpet line.
He said: “I was really thrilled to win the Great Taste Award because there’s a lot of effort every day for the guys to keep a good product right through the production so it’s really rewarding for us to win such a prestigious award.
It was a sentiment echoed by packing supervisor Sue Hurling who said: “It’s a great accolade. The great taste is because of the sour dough that’s added to it. It’s not like any other crumpet – they are brilliant.”