Export deals is icing on cake for Portadown bakery
A Co Armagh bakery says it is on target to increase cross-border sales by 50% as it celebrates 30 years in business.
Portadown-based firm Kitchen Bakes has secured new customers in the Republic of Ireland and further afield.
The wholesale bakery, which specialises in desserts, traybakes and frozen baked products, was established by Hal and Gladys McCullough as a high street bakery in the town in 1986.
Today, the company employs 25 people, produces 650,000 products annually and counts multiples Musgrave, Henderson Group, Costcutters and Nisa among its customers.
But now the company is hoping to secure a greater slice of the UK's £2.3bn bakery export market. In addition to building its presence in the Republic of Ireland, the firm is also exploring options to tap into the Middle East's growing appetite for traditional bakery products.
Three generations of the McCullough family are currently involved in the business, including managing director Dean McCullough who attributed the new deals to Kitchen Bakes' good track record.
"Building upon successes with independent outlets in the Republic of Ireland, Kitchen Bakes has now secured contracts with larger food service providers.
"As a result, we expect Irish sales to grow by 50% this year, our 30th in business," he explained.
"By combining traditional values with a commitment to quality, Kitchen Bakes has become one of Northern Ireland's leading wholesale bakeries," Mr McCullough added.
Business development manager Amanda Furphy said: "Although the traditional high street bakery has faced difficult times in recent years, the wholesale market has remained strong with demand for traditional products such as caramel squares and Madeira cake all enjoying something of a renaissance."