A Scottish pie and pastry manufacturer has targeted working with new food makers after finishing phase one of a £3.6 million investment into the facility.
Bells Food Group has extended its capacity to 140t and created 25 new jobs in the process of doubling its pastry production capacity at its factory in Shotts, Lanarkshire.
The business has a turnover of £16.2 million and currently produces 60t of pastry each week, employing 200 people at its two manufacturing and one logistics sites.
The company is now looking to compete for high volume commercial pastry requirements across the UK and Ireland by investing in new equipment, including a spiral freezer and pastry laminator, while it also has a view to expanding into export markets.
Ronnie Miles, Bells MD, said that the £2.1 million phase one investment would provide a significant boost to pastry production levels, which would allow the firm to truly compete for the first time in high volume, commercial pastry needs.
Miles also said that several discussions were currently underway with potential customers, adding that they have a series of food manufacturing companies on their radar that they would be interested in working with.
Miles added: To help lead this, we welcome back James Drury, a former chef who has retailer focused new product development experience in the food industry. He will take up the mantle of driving our pastry sales.
Bells claims to be the biggest producer of professional quality pastry in Scotland and offers an extensive range of shortcrust and puff pastry bases, rolls, blocks, lids and lattice cut shapes for the wholesale and retail markets.
The pastry is made using the traditional Scottish or French method, with its best seller being the Butter Enriched pastry.
This new investment has come as part of a wider brand development project which will include new product innovations and new packaging.