Shipley dessert company sees sweet sales success

SHIPLEY-based bakery and patissiers, Just Desserts, is enjoying sweet success with more than 30 per cent sales growth in the last year.  This growth has led the bakery to expand into a third 1,800 sq ft unit, increasing the footprint of the business by 50 per cent.

The handmade desserts specialist has seen sales increase across its foodservice customer base, particularly in the independent, farm shop, National Trust properties and garden centre sectors.

An investment of more than £60K in new equipment has enabled the company to double its bakery capacity and introduce efficiency measures.  Acquisitions include a Tom Chandley 5 deck 3 tray oven, a sealer to improve packaging and a new state of the art 500 sq ft freezer, which was installed by Bradford-based Airedale Cooling Services.

The addition of a third unit has allowed Just Desserts to improve warehousing and office space, as well as restructure and open up the bakery to increase work flow.   The company has also invested in upgraded IT systems.

Further changes are planned in the future such as the introduction of a creaming area.

The expansion has created jobs with two more bakers employed to support its growing team of 12 who handcraft more than a 130-strong premium product range.

James O’Dwyer, managing director, Just Desserts commented “I started the business with a £40 a week enterprise allowance grant more than 30 years ago.   I’m delighted with the significant upsurge in sales over the last 12 months which gives me every confidence in our future growth.

“We were cited among small manufacturing firms set to benefit from domestic sales in an expanding economy in the 2014 Manufactory Advisory Service barometer and we are certainly enjoying an increase in home grown business.”

“A combination of improved marketing, better sales materials such as our new company video and getting to market earlier in key selling seasons, has contributed to this success, allowing us to respond to customer needs.  Continuing to improve our facilities in Shipley will support our growth strategy,” continued Mr O’Dwyer.

Just Desserts produces a wide range of premium desserts and pastries which are traditionally handcrafted to its own recipes.  The company was established by husband and wife team James and Carol O’Dwyer in 1985 when they made their first cake at the famous Salts Mill, Bradford.  Since then the company has won many awards and gained an enviable reputation among its hospitality and foodservice clients.

The bakery has also supplied high street names, including Selfridges and Waterstones Café ‘W’.