Genesis Crafty, the Magherafelt based family bakery, is to create 47 new jobs after securing a multi-million pound extension to its existing contract with M&S.
The tea range, which comprises eleven new lines, will be distributed in over 800 M&S stores throughout the UK from this month - doubling the company’s cake business.
The impact of the new business has already seen a significant £6m investment by Genesis Crafty in new equipment and site development over the last 12 months.
An additional benefit is the creation of the new jobs, including 10 management positions, for which recruitment is currently underway.
JP Lyttle, commercial director, Genesis Crafty, said: “We have worked with M&S since 2010 when we launched Jam Bakes and Lemon Bakes in their Northern Ireland stores. Local success of the products led to national distribution and since then we have produced a number of seasonal lines for them.
“The development of this new premium teatime range began in early 2016 and involved significant research across the UK and beyond to find inspiration to create the best pastry, sponge, buttercream and jams.
“Taste trends such as salted caramel combined with new approaches to traditional tarts and cakes have been incorporated in the range, as well as an acknowledgement of customers’ interest in portion control with the smaller treat sizing on offer.”
Brian McErlain, managing director, Genesis Crafty, added: “We are delighted that M&S has continued to work alongside Genesis Crafty to expand its UK customer offer and in turn contribute to major growth in our production capability, facilities and expertise. There is great synergy between our two companies as we come into our 50th year in business and M&S celebrates 50 years of operating in Northern Ireland.
“We are looking forward to further developing our partnership and to that end will be launching additional M&S ranges for Christmas with further cake lines planned in the spring. In support of this growth we are now actively recruiting 47 staff at all levels which is a welcome boost both to Genesis Crafty and to the local economy.”
Georgina Wells, cake buyer-bakery, M&S, said: “Our partnership with Genesis Crafty has been characterised by both quality and innovation. The company’s commitment to extensive research combined with its unique artisanal approach to production, delivers products which our customers love and we are proud to sell.”