Christmas has come early for a Hull bakery which produces over a million festive cakes and puddings each year after calling on help from NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance and Finance For Enterprise to secure the vital funds needed to expand its operations to new premises and double its workforce.
The £150,000 loan which included £75,000 from NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and £75,000 invested directly by Finance For Enterprise was backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, has enabled Gold Crown Bakeries to relocate to a new 20,000 sqft facility, with the funding being used to create three new production lines and expand the company’s workforce from 14 employees to 28 members of staff.
Gold Crown Bakeries works exclusively within the wholesale market and counts luxury hamper producers Cartwright & Butler, Virginia Hayward Ltd and Clearwater Hampers amongst its client base. The company produces more than a million Christmas-related products each year and during peak months of operations it produces more than 7,000 Christmas puddings a day.
After seeing orders boom in 2020 and with new premises identified, the company began exploring options to secure the funds to cover the purchase of additional equipment needs as well as being used to transform the former warehouse into a state-of-the art bakery.
For Gold Crown Bakeries, preparation for Christmas begins in January, with production ramped up from May onwards. With substantial orders to meet, the company recognised it only had a very small window of opportunity to relocate the business, meaning financial assistance needed to be secured quickly in order to meet its tight production timescales.
Working with Investment Manager Jeremy Meadowcroft, the company was able to secure the vital finance needed by the business, and creating a funding package which comprised of funding delivered by Finance For Enterprise and NPIF – BEF & FFE Microfinance, of which Finance For Enterprise acts as joint fund manager.
With funding in place, renovation work on the premises began in March. Refurbishment works took nearly two months and production switched to the new facility on Dairycoates Industrial Estate last month. In total, the company lost just four days of production, and is now planning to use the additional capacity within the bakery to introduce a number of new lines.
Jonathan Battersby, Bakery Director, Gold Crown Bakeries said: “In recent years, Gold Crown Bakeries has been on a considerable growth journey. Turnover has risen from £800,000 in 2015 to more than £2.25 million during our last financial year, however we realised our factory was working close to capacity, with members of staff working around the clock in order to meet demand.
“The additional capacity in our new premises has meant we are able to increase the volumes of products created as well as investing time introducing new product ranges. As a direct result of the support we’ve received from Finance For Enterprise, I’m confident that we’re on course to enjoy a record year of growth, enabling us to double our workforce and create 14 new jobs in the business.”