Expected to be up and running in July, the bespoke 85 metre production line will bring automation to the traditional craft baker’s operation.
As projects director Christien Jones explained: “Essentially this is a craft bakery line on a larger scale, so we still have the influence of the craft master baker but we have taken away the mundane jobs like the lifting and the carrying.
The new line will allow bakers on site to dedicate their time to the craft of baking by removing the need to lift or move heavy trays and equipment.
Craft baking and automation
“It’s a fantastic combination – an automated version of an artisan bakery with the bread being baked on a bed of Italian marble that’s an inch thick,” Jones added.
“The magic is provided by the skill of our staff. We add value to our products by using hand work by our trained team but there’s no skill in lifting a bakery tray. That’s what we’re trying to take away so it’s more appealing to attract staff going forward.
Managing director Robin Jones said the new production line represented a massive investment for the business and was really delighted with what it had developed.
“Our customers are over the moon and I think when it launches in July it’s going to be an absolute gamechanger in the baking world,” he continued.
The recruitment process for new staff is already underway, with the baker looking to take on 50 members of staff now and a further 50 next year to support a second shift. Training will be provided in the firm’s in-house Baking Academy.
“For the right people, there are excellent career prospects at the Village Bakery – most of our managers and supervisors are homegrown,” Robin Jones added.
“This is also an exciting time to join our successful team and help us make these amazing products.”
Meanwhile, Clearly Drinks, the Sunderland based soft drinks manufacturer, is expecting to double revenue this year after investing £6m into a new canning line.