Proud bakery workers are enjoying the taste of success after clinching two awards for their crumpets from the “food industry bible”.
The team at the Village Bakery in Wrexham were thrilled to hear the crumpets they make for Iceland had been handed a double honour at the prestigious Own Label Awards run by The Grocer magazine.
They scooped the innovation award and the top prize in the bakery category during the glittering ceremony at London’s Park Lane Hilton Hotel.
The winners were announced by by Adam Leyland, editor of The Grocer, and TV presenter Stacey Solomon.
The Luxury sourdough crumpets made with oat grains, sunflower and flax seeds are sold in 420 of Iceland’s stores nationwide.
According to the judges, they were “light and airy in texture” with a “crisp base” and “plenty of flavour”.
They added the crumpets were “bang on trend” while the inclusion of sourdough helped “elevate this product” above the normal expectations of the crumpet category.
It was a proud moment for Nina Czajkowska, 33, who works on the crumpet line at the Village Bakery.
She said: “We were all thrilled to hear that we had won not one but two awards.
“We like to think we make the perfect crumpet which delivers a nice crunch on the outside, nice and toasted, but you still want the middle nice and soft. You need lots of what are called the chimneys which are the holes, so that is actually holding the butter.”
The success at The Grocer awards comes on the heels of a triple honour for the Village Bakery last year.
Then their five-grain crumpets were awarded a gold award for innovation at the Baking Industry Awards, whilst their sourdough crumpets were honoured at the Quality Food Awards and won a gold award from The Grocer.
One of the secrets of their remarkable haul of awards is their in-house taste panel which convenes at 11am every day to make sure the products are always up to scratch.
National account manager Mike Sheen said: “The Luxury crumpet we make for Iceland is consistently popular with our taste panel.
“The taste panel is very tough and they ensure we have amazing quality to control so that our products are always tip top.
“Winning all these awards just adds to the growing reputation of the Village Bakery and it’s fantastic that we can come together with another leading North Wales brand like Iceland to make really excellent products.
“Part of the reason I joined Village bakery in the first place was the focus on quality of the products.
“The really clever thing about the company is that they have the ability to produce in volume but retain the integrity of the product by staying true to their roots as craft bakers.”
It was a sentiment echoed by operations director Simon Thorpe who paid tribute to the team effort of everybody who works on the crumpet line.
He said: “Our quest for improvement is relentless. We’re our own biggest critics and we’re always trying to do that little bit better.
“We might be the best we think we can be today, but tomorrow there is always something you can do to improve it, to step it on, to make another change, and even if it’s small, there is incremental improvement available to do all of the time and that’s what we’re striving to do.”