Bakkavor Desserts impresses MP with fast-moving business

Bakkavor Desserts based in Highbridge, Somerset, the UK’s leading producer of supermarket cheesecakes, has hosted James Heappey, MP for Wells, to show him how this fast-moving business meets customer orders and how it is supporting the career development of young local talent.

Bakkavor Desserts, which makes over 700,000 cheesecakes a week, as well as trifles and other chilled desserts, is a major employer in the area with over 540 employees working at the site.

The team showed Heappey (pictured centre) inside the factory where the chilled desserts were being made, explaining the expertise needed for a smooth-running, safe manufacturing process and the MP also was lucky to be able to see and taste a number of new desserts the team has in the pipeline for Christmas.

Bakkavor Desserts is passionate about helping young people develop the skills to gain and maintain employment through its Apprenticeships and engagement with Schools. Heappey met with Hannah Sainsbury, a Process Apprentice at the Desserts business, who explained that through her apprenticeship she was learning about the key business areas of food safety and product quality.

Bakkavor Desserts, as part its commitment to the IGD Feeding Britain’s Future programme which provides employability skills training to students, is also partnering with local secondary school, King Alfred’s.

This partnership is helping students develop the skills they need to succeed in the workplace and bring to life the wide range of careers available in the food industry. Last week the Bakkavor team spent an inspirational afternoon with the pupils at King Alfred School judging the Bakkavor Cheesecake Challenge.

The winning dessert was a Strawberry Eton Mess Cheesecake by star baker, Caitlin Hopkins, who will get to see her creation made at the factory.

John Bowman, Head of site Operations at the Highbridge, (pictured left) said, “It was great to welcome James to our business as we are a proud Somerset employer and we wanted to show him that the delicious desserts eaten by people across the UK are made right here in Highbridge.

'It also gave us the opportunity to stress the importance we place on young local talent through our apprenticeships and schools programme and I would like to congratulate Caitlin on her winning cheesecake.”

Heappey said, “I really enjoyed my visit to Bakkavor Desserts and was impressed at not only the quality of the delicious puddings but also the expertise and passion amongst the staff.

'I was particularly impressed with Bakkavor’s partnership with King Alfred’s School. It was great to see how energised the apprentices were in learning invaluable skills for the workplace.”

Also pictured, right, Dawn Reynolds – Senior Shift Manager, High Care, Bakkavor Desserts (Highbridge).