On the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, nestled in the centre of North Wales, is the stuff that dreams are made of… a facility turning out two million cupcakes every single week.

We are a nation of cupcake lovers, and there’s no sign of that changing. And that’s what has made the Cake Crew, based in Bala, Gwynedd, such a resounding success.

Since becoming established in 2012, they have had one over-riding ambition: To become the best producer of cupcakes in the country. And with astonishing growth and contracts to supply some of the biggest retailers in the UK, they’ve definitely found the right recipe for success.
“Our founder shareholders saw the opportunity for cupcakes in the UK and decided to focus on being excellent on that core product,” says Jason Hiley, MD of the Cake Crew. “We have worked hard since then to ensure we are the best provider of cupcakes in Britain.”

They bought a bakery site that year and got their first contract with a major retailer to provide cupcakes under the retailer’s own brand. The growth of the company since then makes for a very steep curve on the graph.
“By 2015 we had built up a turnover of £8 million,” says Jason. “That led to a required step-change in our technical capabilities and equipment and a big expansion of our team. We’ve been growing very quickly ever since.”
And at the start of this year, the company hit a turnover of £25 million, more than tripling in size over the past four years.

That growth has seen a substantial amount of money ploughed back into the business, with a significant investment in the bakery site to renew equipment, building strong teams, enhancing technical standards and expanding capacity.

Jason says, “Part of our mission has been to achieve a critical mass so we can invest significantly in new product development, our people, processes and our site to ensure excellent service to our customers. We are constantly looking at ways to improve our offering and evolve products.”
Now supplying to a range of national retailers with household names, the key to the Cake Crew’s success is offering high quality products with market leading innovation. They work closely with retailers to develop products that are aligned to customers’ needs and demands.

The Cake Crew works very closely with its customers on product development and innovation and makes sure they get a product that is unique to them.

And the business is always evolving, even though their raison d’etre is to stay at the top of the tree when it comes to cupcake provision in the UK. As well as supplying all-year-round products, they manufacture highly-targeted seasonal products to support their customers’ seasonal campaigns, particularly at Easter, Halloween and Christmas. The team is currently working to finalise their customers’ offering for Christmas 2019 and is looking at 2020 ranges.

They are also branching out into new lines, with a broader range that encompasses vegan cupcakes, loaf cakes and traybakes, which are proving immensely popular.
The bakery in Bala now employs 340 people, which is an increase in staff of 200 since the company stepped up to the big time in 2015. They’re a major employer now in this corner of rural Wales, and a great boost for the local economy.

This year will see significant further investment into the facilities. “We’re doing a lot this year to improve our resilience as a company,” says Jason. “We’re replacing equipment, updating our facilities, and we’ve got new product lines as well, such as our vegan produce. It’s all about constantly exploring new opportunities.”

Their ambition to be the biggest and best is based firmly on the good old-fashioned values of customer service, though. Whether it’s one of the big supermarket chains or a smaller retailer who comes calling, the Cake Crew takes pains to listen to exactly what their customer wants and needs.
“We constantly work with our customers to innovate, to develop their products and our operating methods, listening to their insights” says Jason. “Through our communication with them, we strive to provide the highest quality service and are constantly seeking to improve our processes and systems through a program of operational excellence, to consolidate our position as a trusted supplier.