Pieminister confirms factory move could cost jobs

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Curry, Thai cuisine

Pieminister confirms factory move could cost jobs
Successful gourmet pie maker Pieminister has confirmed that it will move production to South Wales, with around 20 jobs at risk as a result.

Co-director and founder of the Bristol firm Jonathan Simon told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the business was growing around 30% year-on-year, and increased turnover from £5m in March 2010 to £6.5m in 2011.

Bigger site

Simon said the new site in Llantrisant provided the firm with plenty of headroom, although in some respects the move had been forced upon Pieminister since the lease on its existing 15,000 sq ft site will expire shortly.

“Our lease is up in March next year, and the move was in some ways unfortunate, since we were forced into the move. But it’s a great site over there, with a high specification,”​ Simon said.

Pieminister employs around 35 manufacturing staff at its facility in Bristol, and although all were offered jobs in Wales, Simon said he believed around 20 would take redundancy instead, where this included some agency staff.

However, he said Pieminister would retain a head office elsewhere in central Bristol, where it employs 100 more staff with retail, events and head office responsibilities, while the new site would provide further employment opportunities.

Seasonal business

Simon said the pie business was highly seasonal, with the principle ‘pie season’ occurring between September and March. Over 20% of Pieminister’s sales now come from the major multiples, although the business first sold pies at music festivals.

“We’re certainly not forgetting where we came from, but the main growth area (hopefully) is the supermarkets. If they take a line then it makes a big difference to us, given that we’re not a particularly big company,”​said Simon.

“We’ve got a few interesting things going on with Sainsbury’s and Waitrose at the moment.”

Founded in 2002, Pieminister sells pies through 15 of its own market stalls and five company-owned shops, as well as to wholesalers and online customers.

Pieminister’s pie range includes handmade Thai green curry with chicken and potato and British beef steak with red wine and stilton.

Related topics: Bakery

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