An expanding bakery is celebrating after clinching a major contract with the Co-op – and picking up an award from them at the same time.

The Village Bakery have been supplying  63 Co-op stores for several years and as a result of the new deal they are now delivering to 116 of their shops across Wales.

It was a second dollop of good news from the Co-op as the family firm of bakers were also named as their Best Local Community Supplier.

The ceremony in Manchester was hosted by actress and impressionist Deborah Stephenson and the award was presented by Kate Jones, head of food products at the Co-op.

The bakery, which celebrated its 80th anniversary last year, now employs more than 400 people and was named Wales’s fastest growing company in 2013 and the fastest growing manufacturer last year.

Earlier this year the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall officially opened the new £4m Baking Academy and Innovation Centre built by the Village Bakery at their site on the Wrexham Industrial Estate.

Village Bakery managing director Robin Jones said: “We’ve been dealing with the Co-op for many, many years now and we are the local baker while they are the local community retailer so it’s always been a good fit for both of us.

“The relationship has just evolved and over the last three or four years we really have done a great deal with them.

“To win this award was a great achievement for all the bakers and the delivery men and the staff at the Village Bakery.

“It has certainly paid dividends because we are now supplying 116 Co-op stores with bread and morning good as well as our hand-crafted pies made with local ingredients.

“We achieved our excellent growth by working closely with head office and identifying gaps in the product range.

“This has allowed us to service more stores, improve availability and increase sales which is good news for everybody.

“As a business that cares about local food, we use local suppliers in our bakery products – Conwy Valley Meats and dairy products from South Caernarfon Creameries.

“We’re very proud our products have won numerous awards, most recently our crumpets won a Great Taste Award and also a Grocer magazine Gold Award.

“The secret of success is making volume products whilst staying true to our craft baking skills and traditions.

“Our emphasis is always on making a great tasting product that can be scaled up without compromising on quality.”