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Your cut-out-and-keep guide to top employers. No 60: Inter Link Foods

In a nutshell:​ Inter Link Foods has grown from a loss-making niche baker in Blackburn to become the second largest cake supplier in the UK behind Mr Kipling's owner Manor Bakeries. It supplies fresh, chilled, frozen and tinned cakes to retailers across the UK and continental Europe

History:​ Inter Link's appetite is as insatiable as its customers'. Its buying spree began in 1994 with the acquisition of Crossfield Foods. Since then, it has gobbled up William Lusty, Farmhouse Bakery Holdings, Soreen, Lisa Bakery, Newton House Bakery and Cakes for the Connoisseur, before moving into the novelty and licensed cakes market with the purchase of Maid Marian and the celebration cakes division of Nicholas and Harris. A £1.2m acquisition of Polish cake and cookie firm Cukiernia Mistrza Jana has also given it access to mainland European markets and provided a low cost manufacturing base for making products for the UK market.

However, its biggest deal came this year with the £12.5m purchase of Yorkshire Cottage Bakeries, which propelled Inter Link into the number two slot in UK cakes

Brands you'd recognise:​ Inter Link makes cakes under a variety of brands including Soreen, William Lusty and The Cake Shop plus supermarket own-label lines. It also has the licence to make small cakes under the Disney brand

The strategy:​ With former United Co-op food retail boss Paul Griffiths at the helm, Inter Link is always on the lookout for new acquisitions on home turf and continental Europe. But it's also committed to growing its existing business with a stream of innovative new products and keen to expand its continental European customer base

Where you'd work:​ Inter Link's empire stretches from Salisbury to Blackburn. Or you could angle for a job in Szczecin, if your Polish is up to scratch

Do say at interview:​ I can sell any fondant that takes my fancy

Don't say at interview:​ You can't beat Mr Kipling at afternoon tea

'Contact: 01254 55495

Related topics: People & Skills

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