THE popular Jenkins Bakery has been recognised as the top Craft Bakery Business of the Year in Wales.
The bakery, based in Llanelli, but with branches throughout south Wales, now goes forward to the prestigious British Bakery Industry Awards (BIA) to battle it out against six other bakeries from all four corners of the UK.
“It’s a massive achievement,” said Jenkins Bakery operations director Russell Jenkins.
“It’s a testament to the quality of work produced day-in-day-out by our team of quality craft bakers and the staff who work in our many shops across south Wales.”
“We are very proud of our staff here at the Jenkins Bakery – many of whom have been with us for more than 10 years.
“The Bakery Industry Awards are recognised as the Oscars of the business in the UK and we are very proud to have secured the regional Wales award.
“We now come to the even more exciting part of moving forward to compete against other bakeries from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”
The Baking Industry’s glittering awards recognise stand-out businesses and products across 11 categories. The awards evening is recognised as an event to acknowledge the skills, creativity and business acumen of the thriving UK baking sector. The awards evening will be hosted by former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts in the glamorous surroundings of The Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, on Wednesday, September 4. David Jenkins, the firm’s company secretary and commercial director, said: “This is yet another milestone achievement for us as we head towards our 100th anniversary year.
“This year marks 98 years of trading,” said Mr Jenkins.
“There aren’t many businesses that can boast 98 years of operation – and there aren’t many that can still hold to their family roots.
“The Jenkins brand is firmly established in west Wales and beyond and we are looking forward to celebrating our centenary in two years’ time.
“We always strive to produce quality products for our customers and we are grateful for their continued support. We are a real family business and we have a wonderful relationship with our customers, suppliers and supporters.”
Previous awards collected by the Jenkins Bakery include ‘The Most Loved Bakery in Wales’. And, in 2013, the business won a South Wales Evening Post / Swansea Bay Business Life magazine Business of the Month award and the Llanelli Star Ambassador of the Year award.
The Jenkins Bakery employs more than 300 people, full and part-time, across 30 different stores in South Wales. The company has the Investors in People award. The business employs 70 people at its Trostre HQ, while the Jenkins shop network stretches from Carmarthen to Bridgend. There are a total of 14 shops in Carmarthenshire and even one as far afield as Powys.
The Jenkins family business was established by Mr David and Mrs Elizabeth (Lizzie) Jenkins in New Dock Road Llanelli in 1921. Lizzie was a grand cook and “The Unique Café” (as it was known) quickly gained a reputation for producing freshly baked quality products.
The business witnessed some very difficult times over the years, including the Great Depression, World War Two, rationing and the recessions of the post-war years. But the business has always taken pride in maintaining the standards of producing freshly baked goods. High standards were the foundations on which the business was laid. This meant there was a loyal customer base for the Jenkins shops in Llanelli. The company slogan at this time was “Every bite – pure delight”.
The third generation of the Jenkins family, David and Russell, are now carrying on the family traditions.