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Expanding Newry bakery trebles sales to £1.5m-plus


Gareth Chambers

Gareth Chambers

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Gareth Chambers

A Newry bakery has trebled its sales beyond £1.5m and expects to double revenues again this year.

Sweet Things bakery, which is part of Northern Ireland convenience food firm Around Noon, has grown its workforce from two to 13 in the past year.

It is now recruiting another two people to the roles of innovation baker and supervisor.

The business supplies a number of well-known high street retailers and independent stores both here and in the Republic.

It was set up by Ciara Byrne, its commercial director, in 2009.

It started out by selling at farmers' markets before it was bought over by Around Noon and its chief executive Gareth Chambers.

Mr Chambers said: "We are delighted with the rapid growth that Sweet Things has enjoyed. After acquiring the business, we invested significantly in branding and marketing, as well as in new premises for the businesses.

"We've positioned it as a bakery that offers a bit of a 'rock and roll' take, and we did things like add the strapline 'bad-ass bakery'.

"It has been a strategic acquisition for us that really complements our existing offering. Our customers spend in excess of £10m annually on bakery items, so there is real demand for the kind of products that we offer through Sweet Things."

Mr Chambers was named Young Businessperson of the Year at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank last month. Around Noon is based in Newry's Greenbank Industrial Estate.

Mr Chambers took over his parents' food company Around Noon in a management buyout in 2016.

It produces about 60 different types of 'food on the move' - including sandwiches, protein pots, filled croissants, wraps, salads and cold-press juices.

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