Food technology students have been given a taste of life at a top bakery.
A dozen Year 11 pupils from Ysgol Morgan Llwyd, in Wrexham, went on a visit to the award–winning Village Bakery, the fastest growing manufacturer in Wales.
They were taken on a guided tour of the bakery in Minera, near Wrexham, by managing director Robin Jones.
According to teacher Glenys Harris, the visit was particularly useful in helping them connect their GCSE studies to the real world of business.
The bakery employs more than 300 people and has two other bakeries on Wrexham Industrial Estate where the family-run firm is building its new £3 million Baking Academy and Innovation Centre.
Mrs Harris said: “We came to see the industrial connection for a question that’s going to be on their examination paper because they need to see how a factory runs and see how the machines work with movement sensors, see how they measure things, cleanliness and food hygiene and how the factory runs generally.
“The Village Bakery is a brand that’s unique and there is a different quality and a different taste to this brand.”
As part of the tour, the students saw the recently-installed £600,000 the state-of-the-art production line that makes pancakes and pikelets, a regional variation of the crumpet which was developed in Wales in the 17th century before spreading to the West Midlands, Chester, Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Pupil Sian Williams said: “We’ve seen how they do things in the Village Bakery and I really liked it. I didn’t know how they did things before but now I do know and this has helped with my course.
“I really liked the pancakes and I got to taste them as well – I’ll buy them in future.
Fellow pupil Cara Jones,16, was also a fan of the pancakes.
She said: “We came here today because our teacher Miss Harris wanted us to have more knowledge about industrial machines for our examination next summer.
“It turned out to be very interesting and I’ve really enjoyed myself.”
Robin Jones was delighted to welcome the students to their premises in Minera.
He said: “I hope the visit has given them a good insight into what we do here at the Village Bakery and our belief in the importance of quality and doing things in the right way.
“I’m also hoping it’ demonstrated that becoming a baker can be a really excellent career for young people who want to get on.
“We have a track record of growing our own talent and we are hoping to create a new generation of bakers when our Baking Academy and Innovation Centre opens later this year.
“After their exams in the summer, it would be nice to think we might see one or two of them back here on a more permanent basis.”