LDC has its cake and eats it thanks to Bristol cake manufacturer

LDC Cakesmiths

Cakesmiths, an independent manufacturer and supplier of artisan handmade cakes, has secured investment from leading mid-market private equity firm LDC to support growth.

Bristol-based Cakesmiths supplies its range to a number of independent customers across the UK through its direct-to-market online platform.

The business caters to a wide range of palates, including a broad vegan and very-low gluten range, and limited edition ‘small batch’ runs. As last year’s Great Taste Awards it won awards for its Billionaire’s Shortbread, Persian Love Loaf and Ultimate Carrot Cake. The company also uses reusable and recyclable packaging to keep its products fresh when being transported to customers.

LDC is backing the management team – led by Managing Director Simon Harris and newly-appointed CEO Chris Ormrod – to continue to build on its success to date which has been made possible through its focus on creating a culture of involved employees, simply making great products.

As part of the transaction, FMCG sector expert David Garman, formerly of Associated British Foods and United Biscuits, is joining the board as Non-executive Chair.

The investment was led by Stefan Gunn, LDC Investment Director in the South West, and Investment Manager James Garland, both of whom will also join the board.

Simon Harris, Managing Director of Cakesmiths, said: “I’m very pleased to be partnering with an investor that is management-focused and backs our plans to provide more amazing cakes to even more people. Our employees are central to making Cakesmiths a special place to work – and this investment allows us to continue to recruit and grow for the future.

Stef, James and the LDC team in Bristol are based just a short walk away from our bakery which was a key factor in our decision when choosing a partner to support our growth plans.”

CEO Chris Ormrod added: “I am looking forward to becoming part of the Cakesmiths team and working with Simon and our new partners at LDC. This is an exciting time for the business – we are seeing strong demand from customers up and down the country and we are developing great tasting products to accelerate that growth.”

Stefan Gunn, Investment Director at LDC, added: “Cakesmiths’ success is a testament to the resilience of the business over the past two years and the hard work and passion its employees have for making such amazing cakes. Having tried most of their products, I can definitely understand why they are growing so fast! We will be working closely with the team to provide additional support to deliver on their plans.”

LDC has a strong heritage of supporting the management teams of leading FMCG sector brands to grow their businesses. This includes backing the founders of premium drink mixer producer Fever-Tree and, most recently, the founders of the UK’s number one premium milkshake brand Shaken Udder.

LDC was advised by EY (financial and tax advisory), Watersheds (financial advisory), TLT (legal), RSM (financial and tax due diligence) and Hullbrook (commercial due diligence).

Cakesmiths was advised by Momentum Corporate Finance (financial advisory) and Roxburgh Milkins (legal).