When it comes to success stories, you don’t get much better than Nanny’s Craft Bakery; selling out of produce most days they have proven that there is a place for their delicious pastries in both the hearts and stomachs of the people of Wellington, Telford.
Kristiyan Dimitrov, the driving force behind Nanny’s Craft Bakery, is truly one of the nicest and hardest working people you will meet and thoroughly deserves the accolades that his business is now receiving. When Kristiyan first contacted the AGRI project (part funded by the European Regional Development Fund), his bakery was very much a dream that he was desperately trying to turn into a reality. He had a good business plan and knew that his products which are made to traditional family recipes were popular in his native Bulgaria but needed help to 1) prove that there was a market for them in the UK; more specifically Telford and Shropshire and 2) develop his products and processes to allow him to produce on a much larger scale. Although the business was at a very early stage the AGRI team could see that this company had the potential to grow and so decided that they would provide an initial support through the Harper Adams University team.
After initial talks with Kristiyan to determine what the company would gain the most value from, it was decided that the university would provide access to food specialists and the commercial kitchens of the Regional Food Academy located on campus. The main focus would be in developing the products to be able to be produced on a larger scale and assess how they would fair being baked in industrial ovens rather than domestic. It was also decided that the best way to see how the products would be received locally would be to run focus groups; this allowed participants to taste a selection of the breads and pastries and provide all important feedback on not only the taste but also the price points and potential location of the bakery.
The focus groups were very successful and the products received really good feedback; Kristiyan was able to add all of the work that the AGRI team had done into his business plan which provided him with the all important supporting documentation to show there was a market for his products. By using the commercial kitchens to scale up his production, he was also able to prove
Produce is baked fresh daily that he had the knowledge and capability to supply the volumes of goods that would be required to meet his predicted demand. Once Kristiyan had finalised his recipes to produce on a larger scale the AGRI food specialists were able to provide additional support in calculating the nutritional values and allergen information of the products.
The journey that Nanny’s Craft Bakery have been on has by no means been an easy one for them, they met many stumbling blocks when looking to raise funds and find suitable premises, but they never ever gave up and eventually their hard work payed off. In August 2019 the AGRI team couldn’t have been happier to see that after receiving a grant from Telford & Wrekin Council, Nanny’s Craft Bakery was opened on Wellington High Street. Kristiyan was finally able to get his Bulgarian Artisan Bakery off the ground, getting up early daily to bake all of their produce fresh from scratch; Nanny’s Craft Bakery has brought a wonderful new lease of life as well as gorgeous new flavours to the heart of Wellington.
When the AGRI team last spoke to Kris his bakery had become so popular that it was selling out of produce daily and therefore the next step is to look at purchasing new machinery to scale up the production even further. Kristiyan’s dream of opening a bakery selling delicious Bulgarian breads and pastries, made to his grandmothers’ traditional recipes is now a roaring successful reality and the AGRI team are privileged to have been able to play a part in helping such a wonderful company get on its feet.
Kris has said of his experience working with the AGRI team and Harper Adams University: The AGRI team have helped me to take my business to the next level, the focus group and product development in the Regional Food Academy really showed us that there was a market for our products and that we could successfully upscale our production. We were able to include the results from the focus group and the innovation report which included market and competitor analysis in our business plan. This gave us the confidence to push forward with our application for a start-up loan and then to apply to the council for high street funding to open our bakery on wellington high street. Since opening, our business has grown and we have built up a loyal customer base with people travelling from as far afield as Oswestry and Coventry to buy our freshly baked products. The AGRI project have also been able to provide support in relation to allergy advice and nutritional content which has been very useful. We would recommend the AGRI project and are really grateful to the whole team for the support they have given us.