Owners Matt and Anne Scott bought the Churchstoke-based mill on the Welsh Marches more than a decade ago when it was a working museum and producing only 1t of flour a month.
“We currently do about 15–20t a week and there’s potential to grow output beyond that,” Matt Scott told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
There has been a mill on the site since 1575. The Scotts bought it with the intention of setting up a campsite, but decided to focus on grinding flour when they spotted a good business opportunity.
“The brand has a lot of scope for growth and we’ve concentrated on quality stoneground flour,” said Scott.
“We supply companies like Waitrose, Booths and many other independent stores with pure flour, but there’s potential to go into other areas.”
By looking at value-added, gluten-free and other areas of the flour and bakery sector, Scott said the business had the potential to grow to a £1M+ turnover in a short space of time.
“It would push up to that figure very quickly, but that requires a higher level of management and investment to take it there, and we’re a family business at the moment,” he said.
“Depending on what business model the new owners used, there could be 20 or more jobs created,” he added.
28t silos and three packing rooms
The sale includes the mill – which has a vacuum conveyer system – two 28t silos and a barn that houses three packing rooms with an automated packer.
While Scott says there are big opportunities in the business’s future, he said it would be disappointing if the new owner lost sight of the brand’s heritage, but welcomed interest from large firms.
“I think as long as a big company would see that the brand continued, then I would welcome that. It would be very hard to stretch the boundaries of the brand beyond what they are. If a big company bought it, then they would buy it for the brand values.”
Meanwhile, Scott remained hopeful that demand for higher value products would continue to rise, as more people took up home baking. “I think, as more and more people become interested in baking, there is a strong demand for a high quality niche product like stoneground flour,” added Scott.