Shipley MP Philip Davies took a tour of local bakery Just Desserts this week to find out more about the company’s success in its 30th anniversary year.
The growing Shipley dessert maker was recently cited among small manufacturing firms set to benefit from domestic sales in an expanding UK economy. The bakery has grown 18 per cent in the past year after increasing sales across its food service customers, which includes Waterstones’ Café W, Boundary Mill, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Mumtaz and Keelham Farm Shop.
Just Desserts was established by James O’Dwyer and his wife Carol in 1985 when they made their first handmade cake at the famous Salts Mill, Saltaire, Bradford with a £40-a-week enterprise allowance grant. Since then it has gained a reputation for providing the hospitality and food service industry with a range of award-winning premium desserts and quiche.
The company now boasts 20 staff and moved to larger premises in Shipley in 1989 to meet demand, before expanding further in 2007, investing in the business to double the size of its base. The business doubled its capacity in 2012 following a five figure investment in state of the art equipment to service an increased customer base.
As part of its growth strategy, the handmade dessert specialist has recently accessed funding through the Government-backed Growth Accelerator initiative, which supports small and medium sized businesses with the potential to improve and grow through coaching and training for senior management. The bakery has been working with West Yorkshire based business coaching company, Bluko.
James O’Dwyer, managing director, Just Desserts said: “We are delighted to welcome our local MP to Just Desserts for a tour of our bakery in our 30th trading year to give him an insight into our success to date. We are incredibly proud of our handcrafted Yorkshire products and the continued investment in our facilities here in Shipley.’
Philip Davies MP said: “I was delighted to visit Just Desserts and see first hand their high quality hand made products being produced. Family businesses like this are the lifeblood of the economy, and I congratulate James and Carol on reaching the 30th anniversary of their business, which they have built up from nothing. They should be very proud of what they have achieved, and I look forward to seeing Just Desserts go from strength to strength. Have seen their outstanding products, I have no doubt they will go on to further success and continue to grow their business”.