Move to a new purpose-built bakery
The Breadwinner Bakery is a true Edinburgh success story. We are delighted to be the only retailer to sell The Breadwinner Bakery range . . . and the response from our customers has been fantastic.Quote source:Colin McLean, Chief Operating Officer for Scotmid Co-operative
The Breadwinner’s founder Sean McVey is a pioneer for artisan baking…If you live in Edinburgh, you are bound to have tasted their bread, probably without knowing it!Quote source:Food blogger, Edinburgh Foody
Breadwinner is a great Scottish success story - using local produce to produce the finest quality bread.Quote source:Rural Matters Magazine
One of the most successful relationships that Barnardo’s Works developed, is … with The Breadwinner Bakery…it has provided work placement opportunities for around ten young people.Quote source:Sandra, Barnardo's Works
What are the aims of your project?
In 2012, during the recession, we saw that the market for artisan goods was expanding and while people may have had less income they wanted what income they had to be spent on better quality products. So we decided to take a risk and move to a premises double the size of our existing bakery. We did this as our vision for our people was being constrained. We did this because our passion and drive to improve our products was also being constrained. We did this because our vision to give more people the chance to eat healthy, additive free, bread was being constrained.
How did your project achieve these aims?
We have also managed to achieve something that not many, if any, artisan bakery has achieved in the UK. In light of a chronic skills shortage we have stayed true to our values, invested heavily in our people, increase our brand profile and managed to increase turn over and profits by 40-50% year-on-year for three years.
Breadwinner Director Kristopher McVey lead the project supported by others in the business.
How was the project funded?
Via the Food Processing, Marketing and Cooperation grant, company savings and a bank loan.
Where did you go for help and advice?
We utilised the support of subject matter experts in our industry.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
In 2013, we were approached by Scotland Co-Operative to start a supply agreement for Artisan Breads. At that time, we did not have any retail presence so while decided it would be a good way to offer our bread to the general public. However, after a few months we found the current supply agreement was not working for us. Hence we offered two options either we pull out or give us the chance to show what we could do if we were given a concession within their store. Scotmid had operated this model with other products but never Artisan Breads. In the middle of 2014 we opened our first concession, it has been such a success for The Breadwinner and Scotmid that this month we will open our 31st concession. The sales in Scotmid now account for around half of our turn over and over £1 million in retail sales for Scotmid.
And the biggest challenge?
Bakers with the skills we require are in short supply in Edinburgh, and troublingly not many are being trained. Hence we have focused on training and now employ six apprentices with four completing external SVQs to support their progress.
Any tips for those setting up a similar project?
Put your people first.
What’s next for your project?
We will continue in the direction of travel we have been on and expand our reach within Scotmid and with other customers. We will also have one specific product that we would like to put more focus on.