The Village Bakery is a family run business that was established in 1934 and is now run by the third generation of the family. Based in Coedpoeth, the bakery was originally set up to serve the local village and has grown since. The Village Bakery’s bread can be spotted on shelves in 11 Tesco stores across North Wales and a recent deal will see them starting to supply ‘Finest’ Welsh Cakes.
Speaking about the opportunity to supply a Finest product to Tesco, Jane Olney, Account Manager at The Village Bakery, said “We’re really excited about the opportunity to supply Tesco’s new Finest Welsh Cakes range. We have a great working relationship with the Local Sourcing Team in Wales, and really value how they invest in the relationships they have with their local suppliers.”
“I speak to Mark regularly and he’s always really helpful. He’s great at advising people and I know I can trust his advice. In fact, it’s through this close relationship that we were invited to produce the Finest Welsh Cakes range – Mark understood the capabilities of The Village Bakery and recognised that we would be best placed to develop this range.”
Speaking about his relationship with The Village Bakery, Mark Grant, Tesco Local Buyer for Wales said “It’s very exciting of us to be on the cusp of launching the Tesco Finest Welsh Cakes range from The Village Bakery. We have worked with the team for many years, continually looking for ways to grow our relationship with them. This new venture is a fine example of their capability and capacity to produce great tasting quality Welsh products.”
The first step in developing the range was creating the recipe. Tesco’s technical team visited the bakery on site for a development day where they considered all the different options, such as spice levels, before agreeing on the perfect recipe.
With the range approved for sale, the next step for The Village Bakery was getting their site approved for supplying an own brand product as this requires additional clearance; any supplier producing an own brand product undergoes a stringent audit.
The final step on the journey was branding and marketing. Part of the support that The Local Sourcing Team offers its local suppliers is marketing and branding advice so when it came to co-creating an own brand product, Tesco worked with The Village Bakery to ensure the packaging design was consistent across both lines in the range. To amplify awareness of the range when it launches, a feature on The Village Bakery and the new Finest Welsh Cakes is scheduled to appear in Tesco’s Real Food magazine and there will be key in-store positioning. On-going sales promotions and in-store sampling tying in with seasonal and local celebrations such as St David’s Day will take place.
Tesco’s Local Sourcing Team is supporting The Village Bakery in their ambitions to extend the Finest Welsh Cakes range beyond Wales. In early November, Mark Grant, took Jane and Robin Jones, The Village Bakery’s Managing Director, to Tesco’s Head Office in Cheshunt for its “Meet the Directors Event”, where they were able to showcase their product to the National Head Category buyers bringing them one step closer to making this ambition reality. This was also a key opportunity for Jane and Robin to gain an understanding of how to gain a national listing and the time frames they need to work to.
Commenting on their relationship with Tesco, Robin said “We’re proud to work with Tesco and really welcome their values for local sourcing. As a small supplier, it’s fantastic for us to have the opportunity to work with such an important retailer for Wales; we’ve worked hard to work with them and look forward to growing our relationship even further. It’s a big deal for a small business like us to work with Tesco, but other small suppliers shouldn’t be nervous if the opportunity comes their way – it’s a great platform for your business!”