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Proper Pies acquires dessert-maker Barton & White

By Mike Stones , 02-Nov-2011
Last updated on 02-Nov-2011 at 12:18 GMT

Pie-maker Proper Pies has acquired the Leicestershire bakery Barton & White for an undisclosed sum.

The Redditch-based Proper Pies, part of Oliver James Foods, was established by food entrepreneurs Martyn Thomas and Kevin Morel.

Co-owner Kevin Morel told The Birmingham Post: “As a business enterprise, Barton and White has great parallels with our own operation and that’s what appealed to us,”

The acquisition will allow Proper Pies to extend its product portfolio with premium patisserie lines, said Morel. The firm hopes the acquisition will add value, offer an opportunity to develop new markets and bring new products to existing customers.

Sous vide

Proper Pies produces pies, bakes and desserts while Oliver James Foods is a leading 'sous vide' specialist.

Barton & White manufactures handmade chilled and frozen desserts, and savouries.

Meanwhile, Thomas and Morel, recently joined forces with celebrity chef James Martin to launch Life, Fork Spoon, a business which provides home delivered ready-made meals.

According to Martin’s website: “Life, Fork & Spoon will ensure that once in a while you can treat yourself to top quality food without having to go out to a restaurant or spend hours preparing everything from scratch.”

The products, including starters, main courses and desserts, are available exclusively online.

Its range includes beef, pork, lamb and chicken dishes as well as seafood and vegetarian.

The firm invites customers to order products, which are frozen after preparation, for next day delivery.

Unilever

Oliver James was co-founded 20 years ago by Morel and Thomas. They started with a unit in London, before moving to the Midlands to set up a company called Thomas Morel Foods. They sold it to Unilever, but later bought it back and renamed it after their sons: Oliver and James.

Earlier this year, Gary Davies, general manager of Oliver James Foods' pie factory, told our sister publication Food Manufacture: “Our mission is to produce safe, high-quality food that reflects the personalities of the chefs involved. We don't try to replicate standard products.

“We want our food to be inspirational and unique. We aim to make real food that reflects what people would cook at home or in a restaurant.”

To read the full article, click here .

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