The Firm

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Related tags: Bread

:Your cut-out-and-keep guide to top employers. 63. Finsbury Food Group

In a nutshell:​ Finsbury runs a £60m business in bread and cakes

History:​ The story began in summer 2002 when Lord Saatchi decided to reposition his media and cash shell Megalomedia as a speciality foods business, starting with the £9.5m purchase of Memory Lane Cakes, followed by craft baker Nicholas & Harris in 2003 for £3.6m

Brands you'd recognise:​ Chiefly own-label for the big supermarkets. However, Memory Lane has the exclusive rights to produce Nestlé branded cakes and Nicholas & Harris has recently struck a three-year licensing deal to produce and sell organic breads under the Village Bakery brand

The strategy:​ Buy and build is the way forward for Finsbury, which has “identified a number of specific opportunities which it intends to pursue over the coming months”, say its directors. "We believe that the UK food sector is increasingly polarised between substantial manufacturers and a large number of smaller independent businesses, and believe that, in this environment, opportunities exist to acquire and develop profitable niche businesses.” In the meantime, it’s been extending the Nicholas & Harris factory, exiting low margin, non core activities at Memory Lane, exploring cross-selling opportunities and pumping cash into automation

Where you'd work:​ Memory Lane is based in Cardiff, which employs more than 1,000 staff. Nicholas & Harris in based Salisbury, and employs more than 100 staff

Do say at interview:​ I can get you a licensing deal for the next Disney movie …

Don't say at interview:​ 'I like to be generous with my toppings’ (inexperienced temporary staff famously prompted a profit warning in early 2004 by being too liberal with their icing in the Christmas 2003 ranges)

Contact:​ 0207 448 8950

Related topics: People & Skills

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