A family-run bakery business is celebrating its 80th year with rising orders from the likes of John Lewis and Asda as well as sandwich shops, secondary schools and London cafes.
Fourth generation White’s Bakery business has enjoyed a steep increase in orders in the last four years and now has a turnover of £2.6 million and employs 56 people at its Worsbrough Bridge bakery and four South Yorkshire shops.
It has now launched a new marketing drive to attract more customers in its 80th anniversary year.
Managing director David White said: “We’ve had four straight years of growth, following the quieter years of recession, and what we’d like to do now is expand our customer base further. We have the capacity to expand so we are stepping up our marketing drive.”
The family bakery business was established in 1934 by David’s grandparents, Albert and Elsie White. David’s dad and uncle, Jack and Colin, then joined the company and David took over as MD in 1996. His son Matthew is leading on the new marketing initiative to boost orders.
In a recent contract the firm designed and baked Victorian gingerbread figures – gentlemen and ladies - to celebrate John Lewis’ 150th anniversary. It follows ‘The Bear and the Hare’ decorated biscuits which accompanied the chain’s huge Christmas campaign in 2013.
In another order more than 200,000 Madeira cakes are bound for Asda shelves in Scotland and Northern Ireland in the run up to Christmas this year.
Fairtrade cookies - made from ethically-sourced ingredients including chocolate, spices, raisins and sugar – are an increasingly significant product.
Sales have quadrupled in the last two years. Most are delivered to London’s universities, colleges and coffee shops again via a large wholesale supplier.
Whites’ customers also include a growing number of schools across Yorkshire and the East Midlands, to whom they deliver flapjacks, cookies and shortbreads.
David said: “Our schools are very important to us. Their goods have to be baked and delivered daily and they have to meet all Government requirements – low fat, low sugar and low salt content levels. We are committed to our schools and have doubled the number we supply across the region in the last two years.”
Whites also delivers bread and confectionery direct to small grocers, sandwich shops and chip shops as well as its four retail outlets in Worsbrough, Darfield, Conisbrough and Barnsley market.
Large wholesale orders are transported to food preparation and sandwich-making companies and niche goods are developed for customers too. For example, White’s bakers are currently developing a mini Eccles cake for a catering company which supplies big name airlines like Emirates.
David said: “We are responsive to our customers’ needs – whether that means creating bespoke novelty biscuits, following ingredient guidelines for schools or fulfilling bulk orders of cakes.”
White’s business growth strategy is being supported by Enterprising Barnsley, a European-funded programme delivered by Barnsley Council.