Cakesmiths CEO Chris Ormrod

Cakesmiths CEO Chris Ormrod

Handmade cakes supplier Cakesmiths has been acquired by European frozen pastries group Onore, providing private equity backer LDC with an exit.

CEO Chris Ormrod, alongside the rest of Cakesmiths’ management team, will continue to lead the business, which will trade under its current branding as part of the Onore Food Group.

Headquartered in France and previously known as Boncolac, Onore is backed by private equity investor Waterland and makes premium baked products. The deal is part of its ambitions to increase its footprint across Europe and other international markets.

“It’s hugely satisfying to look back on everything we’ve achieved in the last two years, and we’re delighted to become part of the Onore Food Group – a move that will help our long-term growth ambitions,” Ormrod said.

“Demand for our amazing cakes shows no sign of slowing and we’re now perfectly positioned to share them with more people around the world as part of Onore.”

Bristol-based Cakesmiths handmakes a range of cakes, cookies and pastries for coffee shops and cafés.

LDC invested in the business in March 2022, backing the management team’s growth strategy.

In that time, Cakesmiths has secured several high-profile client wins, invested more than £2m to scale operations and rebranded, backed by a marketing push. It also grew the e-commerce offer, with online sales in the first half of 2023 worth more than double the 2021 total.

The business added group revenues were up by 164% and EBITDA by 260% over a two-year period under LDC’s backing, with employee numbers growing from 110 to 200 in that time.

“This is the second time I’ve worked with LDC and, as always, they are a class act who have supported us every step of the way,” Omrod said.

LDC investment director Stefan Gunn added: “Cakesmiths’ rapid growth is all down to the team’s passion for their cakes and commitment to innovation and service excellence. Together, we quickly identified the online platform as an essential channel to drive growth, and it’s wonderful to see it become an even more important part of the business’ offering, with almost 70% of Cakesmiths’ volumes being ordered online and delivered next day.

“It’s also been great to partner with the irrepressible Chris Ormrod again and also support a team based just down the road from our Bristol office. They are now ready to fly the flag for the city internationally, and we wish them every success.”

The transaction is expected to complete in January 2024.