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Thomas J Fudge’s Remarkable Bakery is gearing up for a major push across the mults following its management buyout this week backed by private-equity firm Livingbridge.

The new owners plan to kick-start rapid growth at the business, with a view to turning it into the UK’s number one premium sweet and savoury biscuit brand.

After 100 years of family ownership, MD Steve Fudge and brother Graham - part of the third generation - have exited and passed control to commercial director Paul Vita and operations director Vickie Best, who will run it as joint MDs.

Livingbridge has backed the pair with a multimillion-pound investment for brand support and marketing, training staff and bring in key people and capex for the Dorset factory to increase capacity.

Vita told The Grocer a three-year plan aimed to double revenues to past £20m had been agreed, with the primary emphasis on growing the brand in the UK supermarkets.

The premium brand started out in Waitrose but expanded into Tesco at the end of 2015 and has been in Morrisons since the start of April. It also supplies own-label lines to M&S and Waitrose.

“Moving beyond Waitrose, which will remain our heartland, has given us confidence we have a scalable brand and can deliver our growth plan,” Vita said.

The Grocer reported in April 2015 the business had brought in advisers to explore sale options following a shake-up of the brand, including changing the name and revamping packs.

“The retailers are positive about the deal as it doesn’t represent a change of management culture; we have a very good business with a strong heritage and a solid brand,” added Vita, who joined Thomas J Fudge’s in July 2014 with fmcg experience gained from positions at Lyons Seafood, Pukka Herbs and the chilled and frozen division of Hain Daniels.

Founded in 1916, the business today employs 133 staff and operates a 32,000 sq ft factory in Dorset capable of producing 6.5 million biscuits a week.

This year marks the bakery’s centenary and sees a £700,000 investment in sales and marketing. A sampling, social media and PR campaign is already underway, and further NPD and promotional activity is planned for later in the year.