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Island bakery to increase productivity and create jobs

Published: 31/01/2024

A bakery on the Isle of Mull has embarked on an expansion project that will increase productivity, help it meet growing demand, and create new jobs.

A bakery on the Isle of Mull has embarked on an expansion project that will increase productivity, help it meet growing demand, and create new jobs.

Tobermory based Island Bakery Organics Ltd has secured up to £78,200 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) towards a total project investment of £195,500.

The company was formed by Joe and Dawn Reade who started baking bread together in a converted garage after graduating in 1994. In 2012, they moved to purpose built bespoke modern premises powered by renewable energy. The business became a limited company in 2020 and now employs around 35 people.

The main products are luxury biscuits for domestic and international markets and Island Bakery is looking to expand its sales further overseas and with UK retailers.

The HIE funding will contribute towards the costs of new automated production equipment that will improve their chocolate processing, a nitrogen generator that will improve product shelf life, and a laser coding equipment and other ancillary items.

The automated chocolate processing equipment will boost productivity by reducing downtime and waste.

The nitrogen compressor will eliminate the current practice of buying and shipping bottled gas from the central belt and the associated carbon costs. The laser coding equipment is not only more reliable and consistent, but eliminates ink waste.

The improvements will make the company more sustainable and competitive and enable it to meet growing demand for its products.

Morag Goodfellow, HIE’s area manager for Argyll and the Islands, said:

“There are several benefits to this project by Island Bakery. It will accelerate business growth by increasing production capacity and the ability to accommodate new markets. It will support existing local jobs and create new ones, which in turn supports the local economy and community resilience. And it will contribute to the region’s net zero transition by cutting carbon and energy costs.

“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to provide support and look forward to continuing to work with the company as it progresses on its growth journey.”

Joe Reade, director at Island Bakery Organics, said:

“This investment will transform a major part of our operations, fixing a production bottle-neck that has hampered growth as we emerge from the difficult Covid years. The staff are looking forward to it also – not only will our new chocolate plant make us far more productive, it will make their jobs a little easier too!”