‘Crumpet capital’ at heart of expansion

Signature Flatbreads- (from left to right Neil Woods, Charles and William Eid)
Signature Flatbreads- (from left to right Neil Woods, Charles and William Eid)

A Dunstable bakery is at the crux of a multi-million pound expansion plan, the Gazette can excusively reveal.

From mid-February, Aryzta Bakeries, on the Woodside Industrial Estate, will become Signature Flatbreads– with all staff transferred over to the new company.

The deal will see the return of Charles and William Eid, who originally set up Honeytop Speciality Foods at the site in 1984, before they sold up to Aryzta in 2011.

After the brothers departed they set up a bakery in India, but following a deal with Aryzta the Eids will take a joint stake in the new Signature Flatbreads venture.

As well as the Dunstable flagship, the company now owns the bakery in India and an ‘innovation centre’ in Hemel Hempstead.

The move brings with it ambitious plans for growth in Dunstable, with the potential for new jobs in the next two years.

Neil Woods, vice president of finance for Aryzta, told the Gazette that the new company’s business plan looks to take UKrevenue from £80million to £100million a year.

He said: “This will all be done through investment in innovations. Dunstable will be at the heart of this.

“All of the management team will be based here and we will start to have new products being launched from this facility.

“Dunstable is a fantastic location for us as it is ideally situated from a supply chain perspective.

“For a bakery of this size you also need a large, skilled workbase. We have that here, it looks like it has a long future ahead of it.”

Staff at the bakery, which South West Beds MP Andrew Selous once called the “crumpet capital of the UK”, will all be retained.

Mr Woods added: “As is required we are in consultation with staff in Dunstable. They are all protected and will be transferred under the same terms.”

Charles Eid, who will become joint CEO of Signature Flatbreads, said: “From the very early days at Honeytop Foods, and to this day, our vision has always been to offer our customers the very best quality, innovative products which are truly authentic.

“Since we left Honeytop we’ve been working hard with our new company, not only on product development, but also on technical innovations which will provide some really great, innovative products to bring to market. Watch this space.”