A top bakery has invested £2 million in a state of the art production line to make crumpets – creating 36 jobs in the process.
The new line at the Village Bakery in Wrexham is making the first sourdough crumpets on the market in the UK at the rate of 15,000 an hour.
It’s been installed at one of the family firm’s two bakeries on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
Twelve new members of staff have already been recruited bringing the total workforce to more than 350, including their other bakery in Minera on the outskirts of the town.
By next Spring they’re hoping to ramp up production so that the new line is running 24/7 and being operated by three shifts.
When it’s at full capacity the company will need to recruit another 24 workers to run it.
The crumpets will be sold under the Village Bakery’s own brand and in supermarkets across the UK.
The investment marks a fitting climax to a big year in the history of the company which is celebrating its 80th anniversary and is building a new Baking Academy at their site on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
The sourdough crumpets are the latest in a number of new products they’ve unveiled during the last 12 months.
Managing director Robin Jones said: “We’ve developed a sourdough crumpet which is the first on the market.
“Sourdough is a mixture of flour and water and it’s fermented over a period of time. Over that period of time it produces lactic acid which gives it a certain flavour and it doesn’t taste sour, it just tastes lovely and bready and how a crumpet should be and how crumpets tasted 80 years ago.
“The new crumpets sum up our approach. When we develop a new recipe, we’re looking at the past for our future and we’re just taking those old methods and producing them in high volume using traditional methods allied to the best modern technology.
“This is the Rolls Royce of crumpet machines and all credit to our engineering team for installing the production line in record time. They’ve moved mountains and I’m over the moon with what they’ve done.
“We’ve had a fantastic year, some great, great highlights and it’s always nice to squeeze one extra thing in before the year ends and this is the rabbit out of the hat which we’ve turned around in record time.”
Among the new recruits is production operator Craig Herling, 20, from Marchwiel, a former agency worker who was delighted to join the Village Bakery.
He said: “The Village Bakery is hugely successful it’s up and coming so it’s a good time to start your trade here.
“I have tasted the crumpets and they’re fantastic. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for me to build a new career as a baker.”