Scaling up to meet demand

The neighboring bakery in Wrexham Industrial Estate features some of the company’s most automated systems, including a Koenig KGV 8-pocket roll line — the company’s sixth Koenig line — and a sheeting line.

Other key vendors for Village Bakery include Rademaker for bread and pastry items and Heuft ovens, according to Christien.

This year, the emphasis has been on upgrading packaging. In addition to exploring new films to protect the products and thinner cartoning materials for sustainability, Village Bakery has added five Fuji wrappers for a full range of rolls, pancakes, crumpets and pikelets. The flowwrapping systems are hand fed and robotically picked. Some of the baked goods are wrapped with U-cards while others involve gas flushing. The company recently added Burford tape tyers. “Where we had always tried to focus on production and being as efficient as possible, we haven’t focused on advances in automating packaging as much until now,” Christien said.

At iba 2015, Christien said, Village Bakery will be searching for new ways to further improve quality and “innovate its operation without compromise.” One thing is for sure: The company is definitely not standing still and resting on its previous accolades.

“We’re always trying to make something better — taste better and last longer — or to make the process more efficient,” he said. “There’s a lot of focus on developing new products, but there is also a lot of work being done on recipe and product overhauls to make what we do better.”

Looking to the future, he’s cautiously optimistic. “Things are definitely good,” Christien observed. “Our glass is definitely half full.”