The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Ayr bakery does the salsa and gets its just desserts

AN AYR bakery has become the first company in South Ayrshire to gain a major new food standards award.

The Dessert Depot at the Green Street Lane Business Park has received approval to the SALSA standard (Safe and Local Supplier Approval).

[Picture shows the two directors of The Dessert Depot:
Frances Barron (left) and Ellen McPherson.]

Dessert Depot managing director Frances Barron said: “The team at the Dessert Depot are proud and delighted with the achievement of SALSA.

“This approval recognizes our commitment to quality, and provides our customers and potential customers with the knowledge and peace of mind that they are sourcing products from a company where food safety and hygiene are tightly controlled by a quality management system and are of the highest priority.

“As a marketing tool SALSA is invaluable, and will make our company visible to and give us access to a wider market including national foodservice companies.”

The SALSA, or Safe and Local Supplier Approval, scheme has been developed to help local and regional food and drink producers improve their businesses and supply their products to national and regional buyers who have introduced their own local sourcing initiatives.

The principal criteria of the standard are product safety, legality and quality.

SALSA is a joint venture between four main trade associations representing the UK food chain: the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the British Hospitality Association (BHA), the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the National Farmers Union (NFU).

The scheme was set up by the trade associations in recognition that, in many instances, smaller companies were finding currently recognised industry quality assurance standards overly expensive or having disproportionate requirements.

The need for the development of this scheme has been highlighted by an increasing drive for locally sourced food, particularly from foodservice companies and some supermarkets.

Sisters Frances Barron and Ellen McPherson, originally from Drongan, started the Dessert Depot from scratch. They leased an industrial unit, fitted it out using their own savings and a small loan from the bank, and opened for business on 3 January 2003.

At the Dessert Depot they make a range of handmade desserts, patisserie and artisan traybakes. Their traybakes are made from traditional recipes with a contemporary twist.

They also use recipes that their mother passed on to them. She was the main inspiration for them to start their own business. Sadly she died in February 2002, and did not live to see her two daughters gain success.

In four years the two sisters have built up their business from nothing. Their sales figures have consistently doubled every year, and this year will hit £500,000.

Frances and Ellen started off selling their products to coffee shops, delis and hotels. Their aim was always to build a sustainable business with an infrastructure that would support them as they moved forward and grew their business.

They now have three distributors, and Dessert Depot products can be found in establishments from the Highlands to the south of England and also in Ireland.

Three years ago they took the lease of the empty unit next door, which doubled their floor space and made room for new much needed packaging machinery, greater oven capacity and a walk-in chill.

And in August this year, due to the ever increasing demand for their products, they expanded for the second time by acquiring the lease of a third unit where they are now concentrating their shipping and packing activities. This expansion was supported and part funded by a Small Business Improvement loan provided by South Ayrshire Council.

The Dessert Depot Ltd
Unit 11
Green Street Lane Business Park
Ayr KA8 8BE

Telephone: 01292 285566
Fax: 01292 288842


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