North Norfolk bakery Sponge Cakes scores deals with sports clubs and royal palaces
- Credit: Archant
Selling cakes is big business for a north Norfolk bakery which has secured deals with sports clubs, the royal palaces and attractions across the UK.
Sponge Cakes Ltd, based in Holt, was launched in 2009 after Byfords cafe began to receive requests to send cakes by courier to London.
Seven years on, it sells more than 1,600 cakes a week, employs 20 people, turns over more than £1m a year and has just launched a birthday card which allows cake to be delivered by post.
Head of sales Richard Fowler said new licensing deals with Celtic and Queens Park Rangers football clubs along with Wigan Warriors rugby club would drive growth.
'We have been growing about 35%-40% year-on-year,' he said. 'But this year we have exceeded that within the first quarter.'
Sponge was established by Mark Joll and Iain Wilson - who also owns Byfords and The King's Head in Holt, The Pigs in Edgefield, The Dial House in Reepham and is co-director of the Assembly House in Norwich.
After converting its own bakery, it began providing cakes to cafes and attractions across the UK, including Hampton Court, the Tower of London and Banham Zoo. And Mr Fowler said the website had also taken off, with up to 600 cakes a week ordered for birthdays, celebrations and special occasions such as Valentine's Day.
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'Every Mother's Day we set a new record,' said Mr Fowler. 'However, we want to grow in the right way. Our aim is to become the most well-respected cake company in the UK.'
It is this determination to remain a premium brand which led Mr Fowler to turn down a deal to launch the company's range of baby sponges in Tesco stores last year.
'It was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make but it wasn't the right choice and I knew it wasn't,' he said.
Corporate sales have grown, with branded cakes popular with businesses who send them as Christmas gifts to customers.
But it is the new 'cake card' which Mr Fowler believes will be next to succeed. He said: 'This is something it is easy to get someone and no one else is doing it on a mass scale.
'The licensing side is also growing massively. We would love to have the Premier League club cakes soon.'
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