The factory, sited on Westwood Industrial Estate, consisted of: a chilled production area, ovens and cooling tunnel room, blast chiller, -30°C freezers, packing areas, racked freezer, offices and changing rooms. All staff areas were constructed with Kingspan food-safe insulation panels.
Located close to the firm’s current bakery, the new plant was constructed by another family-grown Kent-based company, specialist contractors in cold store construction and refrigeration, the ICA Group.
The ICA Group’s md Andrew Wills said the building project started with a choice: either to develop the existing layout of the building or to take down what was there and start afresh.
‘Whole new bespoke set up’
“We worked together on the design and layout that would meet the required production targets and decided that a whole new bespoke set up would be best to see the business through the projected growth over the next number of years,” said Wills.
Speciality Breads md Peter Millen said the new bakery would enable the production of about 20 handmade lines – a fourfold increase in the company’s current production capacity.
“With the UK foodservice sector as vibrant and diverse as it is and interest in our breads going through the roof, this new site was vital for us in order to keep up with demand and continue to grow,” said Millen.
“We think it is vitally important to use British and local suppliers for as much as possible from our ingredients to our service providers.”
The production, storage and packing areas were cooled with Ecostar condensers and fan units to ensure maximum cooling and storage efficiency, to minimise environmental impact, said the firm.
The new plant was opened earlier this month (Wednesday, November 11) by Conservative member of Parliament for North Thanet, Sir Roger Gale. The firm had also introduced the National Living Wage for all its employees.
Since the business boost it enjoyed from the London Olympics in 2012, the firm has posted consecutive year on year growth of more than 30%, with turnover nearing £6M. Speciality Breads manufactures a range of premium, freshly-frozen breads for delivery to wholesalers, that supply restaurants, pubs, cafés and hotels throughout the UK.
The ICA Group included: design, construction, refrigeration, electrical and controlled atmosphere technology divisions, geared to the delivery of a turn-key service for the installation and maintenance of food facilities. The group is a partnership between International Controlled Atmosphere and Storage Technology Solutions.
Meanwhile, for the latest jobs in food and drink manufacturing, visit FoodManJobs.
Speciality Breads’ new bakery – at a glance
- £3M investment in a 3,000m2 new plant
- Included: chilled production area, ovens, cooling tunnel room, blast chiller, -30°C freezers, packing areas, racked freezer, offices and changing rooms.
- Site at Westwood Industrial Estate, Margate, Kent