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Manufacturer Up Close: Terry's Patisserie

Terry’s Patisserie is a dessert-maker based in Caerphilly, South Wales. Having started out selling handmade products from a domestic kitchen, the business now turns over a quarter of a million and is on its way to more success with ambitious plans for growth underway.

In this manufacturer close up, we talk to Rhys Williams, business development director at Terry’s Patisserie, about how the family firm has grown since starting up in 2011.

Tell us about Terry’s Patisserie

We started up seven years ago when my mother, Terry, was making her own handmade desserts from home.

She would visit local restaurants and sell the desserts to chefs, who we built a good rapport with, as they liked our system of producing bespoke products to their specifications.

As the chefs moved to different venues, they took our products with them, and we soon started getting orders from hotels and eateries around Cardiff.

Today, our turnover is £250,000 and it remains a family affair, with Terry looking after new product development, and my dad Karl working as our financial consultant.

Our growth has been organic and very much local.

What products are in your range?

We have more than 250 lines, in addition to making bespoke desserts, so our customers can pick and choose what they’d like us to make.

One of the best-selling items is our afternoon tea box. It’s made up of treats like mini cakes, fruit scones, profiteroles, and lemon tart. The boxes are seasonal too, so we expect to be producing a good amount with Christmas on the way.

We also make tortes, tarts, cheesecake, gateaux, pies and puddings, and pastries.

Our newest range, created for coffee shops, includes carrot cakes, Victoria sponge, shortbread and pastries, which are supplied to five branches of high-end independent coffee shop Milk & Sugar in Cardiff.

The items have received positive feedback from customers, so we’re targeting more coffee outlets to come on board with us.

What is the business’ plan for growth?

We’re extending our commercial kitchen using a grant from the Welsh Government, which will increase our capacity. The extension will create a new unit, specialising in tray bake items, as we want to promote these to more coffee shops, cafes and the foodservice.

Upon completion, our kitchen will have doubled in size, and two new jobs will be created, as we’re hiring an experienced baker and expanding our sales department.

The grant has also allowed us to invest in new software for the kitchen, which will help us create more products using cutter technology. Despite this, all the products will still have a handmade finish.

We may look at the gift and retail products as a sector to target in the future, but most of our success in the past two years has come from the foodservice market.

How does Terry’s Patisserie stand out in a crowded market?

One of our strengths is that we make everything in house, giving us the freedom to change, modify, and introduce new recipes based on our customers’ needs.

We’re also an accredited safe and local supplier by the Institute of Food Science and Technology, which is a leading body in the industry.

We’ve just won our fifth consecutive Great Taste Award, this time for our bara brith & brioche bread with butter pudding, so our quality is well recognised.

We’re trusted to supply award-winning national hotel brands, and Cardiff City Hall, which hosts big events including weddings, conferences and exhibitions.

How does Erudus help the business?

Erudus is very helpful to us, especially since we started working with foodservice companies, which led to more queries about product information.

The easy input of data into the system is massive for a small business like ourselves, as we can upload all specifications for our customers to view.