Bread firm wins Australia contract

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne built her business from her kitchen. Picture: Kate Chandler
Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne built her business from her kitchen. Picture: Kate Chandler
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A FLEDGLING food company in the Capital has secured a multi-million pound deal to sell its products in Australia just four years into business.

Genius will ship ten of its healthy gluten-free products to be sold through Australia’s largest food retail chain, Coles.

Sliced bread, rolls, croissants, fruit loaf and pizza bases are among the offerings that will hit supermarket shelves en masse Down Under. Coles will sell the products through more than 750 supermarkets across Australia.

The deal is a massive coup for the Edinburgh firm, which has offices in Edinburgh, Bathgate and Hull, and employs about 370 staff – including 260 at its main bakery in Bathgate.

Genius started in 2009 by launching just two types of bread, but now makes more than 30 products.

Founder Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne started the concept from her kitchen in the Capital after perfecting a recipe for her young son, who had a gluten intolerance.

Genius chief executive Roz Cuschieri said the company had been contacted directly by Melbourne-based Gourmet Gluten Free Bakery director Dean Kruger about brokering the deal.

She said: “The business has a very definite global and international aspiration with Australia being one of our newest export markets. Our partner over there spotted us. It was very fortuitous that he and his colleagues were auditing great gluten-free foods across the globe and spied us.”

Ms Bruce-Gardyne, who is a professionally trained chef, was named private businesswoman of the year by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in 2012. The company’s expansion has been remarkable, with products sold across Europe and the United States, and turnover this 
year expected to go close to 
£50 million.

Ms Cuschieri said: “It’s an incredibly hot market globally. Gluten-free bakery and bread growth in the UK is up 24 per cent year on year. That’s huge.”

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