Work and Pensions Secretary and MP for Tatton, Esther McVey has been to visit a Roberts Bakery in Northwich, to see how what started as a family business more than 130 years ago has changed with the times to gain the upper crust.
With goodies including alcohol-infused teacakes, seeded breads and tasty treats for all the family – as well as a range suitable for those with food intolerances – Roberts Bakery has something to offer everyone.
The firm was started in 1887 by Robert Roberts who purchased his first shop, at the age of 58, at 1 Wellington Street.
The family business now boasts more than 800 staff and is one of only two regional bakeries left in the UK.
Ms McVey visited the innovative bakery to discover the secret behind its success, and was shown around the bakery by fourth generation director, Mike Roberts.
She said: “It was absolutely fascinating to tour the bakery and see that, whilst the process of bread making remains the same, technology is being used to ensure consistency and increase production speed.
“The breadth of product that could be produced was astounding and I loved seeing robots developed for the car industry being used to ice gingerbread men in the Little Treats Bakery!”
The business produces 3.5 million loaves per week – which locals can see rotating in the bakery’s iconic glass-fronted cooling towers.
Despite its huge range of products, the business is constantly looking for new ideas and welcomes suggestions for toppings and flavours.
A lucky few people are invited to see inside ‘The Exploratory’ where the creativity happens, to learn some of the tricks of the trade.
Community values remain a central focus for the business and Roberts supports local charities, organise cooking lessons in schools, provide donations to good causes, and hosts charity bake-offs.