The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will officially open a pioneering baking academy in Wrexham.
The £4 million academy and innovation centre has been built by the Village Bakery at their site on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
The complex is the only one of its kind in the UK and will help train a new generation of bakers for the award-winning family firm which now employs around 400 people on the industrial estate at their bakery in Minera, near Wrexham.
The family firm, which celebrated its 80th anniversary last year, was named Wales’s fastest growing company in 2013 and the fastest growing manufacturer last year.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will be greeted by company chairman Alan Jones, when the visit takes place next Tuesday (July 7) as part of their annual Summer visit to Wales.
Mr Jones previously met The Prince of Wales in 1977, at the official opening of Erddig Hall in Wrexham.
HIs Royal Highness was the guest of honour and Mr Jones was recruited to bake bread in Erddig Hall’s old brick oven to give the occasion an authentic flavour.
Mr Jones recalled: “My job that day was to operate the oven and bake bread for the guests, and now it has come full circle. I will be baking bread for The Prince again when he comes to officially open our Baking Academy and Innovation Centre!”
The four-storey, 26,000 sq ft centre of excellence also included office space and an innovation centre to develop and perfect new products.
According to Mr Jones, he was deeply honoured the Royal Couple had agreed to come and was proud to have the chance to introduce staff and family members, including his sons Robin, the managing director, and projects director Christien.
Mr Jones added: “The main function of the building will be to train our bakers and apprentices. There will be lecture rooms and a lecture theatre that holds more than 100 people. Our technical and commercial teams will also be based there.”
“We are a family firm and treating our staff well is part of our DNA. We want to go the extra mile and make the Village Bakery a better place to work.
“Training our own staff has always been a strength of ours – we then make sure we have staff who buy in to the Village Bakery culture.
“We are family–focused, people–focused, and most of our managers and supervisors are Village Bakery people who have come up through the ranks.”
After the Village Bakery, the Royal Couple will be heading for Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, a celebration long sponsored by the Village Bakery