A leading bakery firm is gearing up for the launch of 14 new products in the New Year.
The Wrexham-based Village Bakery has appointed eight new apprentices as they prepare to ramp up production for four major retailers.
The new products have all been developed at the family firm’s Baking Academy and Innovation Centre at their premises on Wrexham Industrial Estate where they have two bakeries.
According to managing director, Robin Jones, it was an exciting time for the Village Bakery with a number of new customers in the UK and enquiries coming in from across Europe as their reputation continues to grow.
The company has a track record of growing their own and most of their bakery managers and supervisors have come through the ranks.
The new batch of apprentices, said Mr Jones, represented the future of the company which also has a bakery in nearby Minera and now employs around 400 people.
He said: “The new apprentices are all people who have come from within the Village Bakery.
“They are all committed and want to step up so they can sustain the grown we’re experiencing.
“Our apprenticeship scheme is very well established and provides the ideal grounding for the next generation of bakers.
“We like to recruit from within because they are Village Bakery born and bred, they understand the culture of the company and our constant quest for quality.
“The will be trained in the best possible facilities because our Baking Academy is the best in the UK and we’re right up their with the best in Europe.
“We’ve got some fantastic new products in the pipeline and we will be launching 14 of them in January.
“They include traditional bakery products, along with some free-from products and ethnic products.
“These are exciting times to be an apprentice at the Village Bakery. The future for these young people is excellent and if they step up and work hard, prove themselves, within a very short space of time they could be a lead machine operator, a supervisor, and have the the potential to be a shift manager or a bakery manager in the future.”
Among the new apprentices is Danny Garcia, 23, from Gwersyllt, who was grateful to be given the opportunity to take the next step on the career ladder.
He said: “I was thrilled to be chosen and I’m going to give my best to be the best. I am very proud.”
It was a sentiment echoed by fellow apprentice Chris England, 32, from Oswestry.
He said: “I want to be a part of the team and if they do want me to step up in to another position, then I’ll have the experience for that as well.”
Their tutor is Paul Andrew who has 30 years’ experience as a top baker.
He said: “We have a quality first ethos at the Village Bakery and we build that into our training from the very first day. We make the apprentices into real bakers, Village bakers.”