A leading bakery is creating an extra 50 jobs – including a dozen apprenticeships.
The award-winning Village Bakery has launched a recruitment drive to cope with its growing order book.
The positions will be spread across its three bakeries on Wrexham Industrial Estate and up the road in nearby Minera.
The apprentices will be trained at the family firm’s cutting edge Baking Academy and Innovation Centre which was officially opened by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
The Village Bakery makes premium breads, morning goods, savouries and bespoke products for major retail and supermarket companies across the UK and as far afield as Hong Kong and Singapore.
The firm has been honoured three times as Craft Baker of the Year at the Baking Industry Awards.
The new recruits will take the number of people employed there up to 500.
Operations director Simon Thorpe said: “We’re very fortunate to be going through another period of significant growth at the moment and with that comes the opportunity for people to gain employment with us as well.
“As part of the recruitment campaign, we’re looking to take on another 12 bakery apprentices.
“Our grow-your-own approach is something we’ve built our business on strongly over many years, and most recently we’ve invested in the new Baking academy and Innovation Centre and really we’re going from strength to strength.”
Level 3 apprentice Bilel Mejbri, 28, has been at the Village Bakery for six years and has worked his way up to Production Supervisor.
He said: “The Village Bakery invest in their staff which is really good because not many companies do that.
“They help you to become the future of the company and the help you progress. I feel like I’ve got a proper career here.
“I worked in many other companies before, but the Village bakery is different. They teach you, and you work at the same time, so you earn and you learn.”
It was a sentiment echoed by another Level 3 apprentice, Jack Rhys Griffiths, 22, who said:
“It’s still very much a family-run company and everything is driven by the quality of the products.
“There are different challenges every day, improving your knowledge. It’s a good career.”
Managing Director Robin Jones said: “Apart from the apprenticeships, we have a great deal of opportunities with a number of different customers, which is wonderful news obviously but it still presents us with the requirement to actually make those products.
“I think what sets us apart as an employer is that we can really add value and help our staff develop.
“We’re looking to invest in people, and looking for people to invest in us. I think we have a very pleasant place to work. We like to look after our people. We value ourselves as a family business.
“By bringing people in at the beginning of their career we can get them to buy in to the Village Bakery ethos, which is about quality.
“Our priority at all times is to make the best possible products we can. We don’t want to be the biggest bakery in the UK but we do want to be the best.”