A growing bakery is attracting worldwide interest in its gluten free products after winning a clutch of awards.
The latest accolade for the Wrexham-based Village Bakery came at the prestigious Free From Food Awards at the Royal College of Physicians in London.
Their mouth-watering Made Without Wheat Belgian Chocolate Twists took gold in the Innovation category after being entered by Marks and Spencer for whom they make them.
According to the judges, they had never seen anything like them before and said it was “a significant manufacturing achievement to create such a good gluten free croissant type product”.
The Belgian Chocolate Twists were also named Free From Product of the Year at the industry Oscars, the Baking Industry Awards, where Village Bakery chairman Alan Jones won the Outstanding Achievement Award.
Last November the Village Bakery opened a new £16 million gluten free bakery to cater for the soaring demand for their wheat-free products.
Managing director Robin Jones believes they are reaping the rewards for investing £4 million in their state-of-the-art Baking Academy and Innovation Centre which was officially opened by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall four years ago.
He revealed the family run-firm is currently developing 85 new products and their growing reputation has led to a flood of calls from potential customers as far afield as the United Arab Emirates, the Far East and America.
Mr Jones said: “We are on a roll at the moment and it was absolutely fantastic to be honoured at the Free From Food Awards.
“The Belgian Chocolate Twists were entered by Marks and Spencer because they believed in them so much and it comes hot on the heels of being named Free From Product of the Year at the Bakery Industry Awards.
“It just goes to show that what we are making here not only tastes amazing but is also award-winning.
“With the free from products we’re trying to emulate the very best standard traditional products so we can bring the very best in a product that’s free from wheat.
“We worked incredibly hard on developing the Belgian Chocolate Twists with Marks and Spencer and our talented test bakers here. So we’ve worked incredibly hard and we’ve got a great product.
“The innovation centre we have here is world class and we currently have 85 new products in the pipeline.
“We’re a bakery run by bakers and we have a very special team. We’re passionate and we want our products to taste great.
“We’re frequently delighted but never satisfied. We have a constant quest to keep on improving all the time.
“Over the years we’ve invested £25 million in improving facilities here. It’s just a constant process of improvement.
“We have married the best equipment with traditional craft baking skills and that is our recipe for success.
“It’s not just in the UK that we’re growing. We’ve got opportunities across Europe and as far afield as the United Arab Emirates, the Far East and America.
“Opening the gluten freedom bakery was crucial. It was a huge investment for the family but it’s given us a fantastic foundation for future growth.
“It’s given us the capacity for a five-fold increase in the size of the free from side of the business.
“But the main thing that is driving our growth is innovation and our determination to make the very best bakery goods.
“Everybody in the business is proud and our chairman Alan is extremely proud of what we’ve done because we’ve stayed true to our roots – making great products at great value prices.”