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Food Bank Donation

In mid-December, we received an enquiry from Blackburn Foodbank, a charity that provides vital help for people in crisis, including those struggling with the cost of living. Its office manager Rachel Massey asked whether we would be prepared to provide some free stock to help the organisation produce festive Christmas parcels for the families that it supports.

We were happy to help and, on 20 December, we handed over a donation of 40 cases (320 units).

Shortly afterwards, Blackburn Foodbank wrote to us to say:

“I wanted to take a moment to personally thank you for your incredibly generous donation. Your kindness and compassion are truly inspiring. Due to your donation, we are able to provide essential food supplies to individuals and families who are facing challenging circumstances. Your contribution brings hope and comfort to those in need. We are incredibly thankful.”

Blackburn Foodbank is part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, which works to combat poverty and hunger across the UK. More details can be found on its website. The site also explains how individuals and businesses can support its work through donations, volunteering, sponsorship and food donations.

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2023 Outstanding Exporter Achievement Award

Simply Doughnuts is proud to have been named a winner in the 2023 International Trade Club Awards, which took place on 6th December at at Accrington Stanley Football Club. The awards are hosted every year by East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.

At the event, we won an Outstanding Exporter Achievement Award, which recognised our success in developing key markets in the Gulf States.

In an official statement, the Chamber wrote: “Simply Doughnuts exports its fresh, long shelf-life doughnuts to the largest hypermarkets in the Gulf States. It has increased its exports year-on-year and has reinvested to boost production capacity, to drive continued product innovation and to increase its workforce.”

Responding to the announcement, company chair Mike Wilson said: “This is a wonderful way to conclude our series of award wins for 2023, and it’s especially nice to see our ongoing investments being acknowledged and applauded.

“This is all part of our continuing efforts to build our domestic and export markets while maintaining the highest quality standards. We’re doing this partly by highlighting the commercial and environmental benefits of longer-lasting ambient products. Food waste-minimisation is a growing trend and we’ve been a leading innovator in this sector for many years. We have a genuinely unique product and we intend to build upon our prominent position in 2024 and beyond.”

Speaking on behalf of the Chamber, Mandy Lockett, International Business Director said: “The International Trade Club’s final meeting of the year was a resounding success, bringing together the international business community to celebrate amazing achievements and set the stage for continued growth in 2024. A huge congratulations to each of our worthy winners – your successes this year deserve to be celebrated.”
Guests at the 2023 International Trade Club Awards

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Season’s Greetings from Simply Doughnuts

From everyone here at Simply Doughnuts, we wish all our customers the very happiest of holiday seasons, and a very prosperous New Year.

Looking back, 2023 has been important to us for a host of reasons. Some of the most important developments have included:

  • The launch of our new Ring Bakes
  • Renewal of our AA+ rating by BRC Global Standards
  • Joining the Craft Bakers Association
  • Joining RSPO (the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)
  • Beginning an extensive, company-wide carbon audit
  • Attending international trade fairs and trade missions, and growing our export markets
  • Winning the title of ‘Best Bakery in Lancashire’ in the National Bakery Awards
  • Winning the ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ category in the 2023 Business Champion Awards
  • Winning the ‘Export Award’ category at the 2023 Food Manufacture Excellence Awards.

With new product development work progressing well and new stockists now trialling our products, we’re hoping that 2024 will be an equally successful year – for us and for all those who work with us.

Christmas tree decorated with doughnuts

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Fireworks Fundraiser

In November, the Simply Doughnuts team organised the delivery of 300 free tubs of Classic Mini Rings to support a school fundraising event, organised by the Home Farm School Association and Prettygate Schools in Colchester.

The event – the “Big Bang Family Fireworks Night” – featured mini fairground rides, drinks and a barbecue, as well as a food stall attended by volunteers.  All tickets sold out and the event was very well attended, despite some wet weather.

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AA+ Rating from BRC Global Standards

In September 2023, following an unannounced site inspection and a rigorous audit procedure, BRC Global Standards confirmed that Simply Doughnuts had earned a top rating of AA+.

This represented a further renewal of the AA-rated accreditation status that Simply Doughnuts has held since 2018. Before that and since its formation in 2012, the company had held SALSA accreditation.

Founded in the UK, BRCGS operates internationally and states that it operates “the most rigorous third party certification scheme of its type.” It adds that it promotes “best practice in manufacturing, helping to provide reassurance that products and services are high quality, legal and safe.”

Simply Doughnuts operates according to well established safety and quality assurance procedures, which are essential for working successfully in a global marketplace.

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New Ring Bake Doughnuts

Simply Doughnuts is proud to announce the launch of its new range of Ring Bake doughnuts.

They are available in a choice of flavours:

  • Banana Glaze with Cocoa Sprinkles
  • Cocoa Cream filling
  • Cocoa Glaze
  • Strawberry Glaze
  • Strawberry Jam filling

Individually foil-wrapped for freshness, they offer shelf-lives of around 5 months (150 days). As a result, they allow retailers even more time to sell, minimising the risk of food waste and associated commercial losses.

They are suitable for vegetarians and available to retailers in shelf-ready trays containing 12 individual packets. They are VAT-exempt.

Unlike our well-known Classic Mini Rings, the new Ring Bakes are the result of a steaming and baking process. Rather than using yeast-raised dough (like our Mini Rings), they are cake-based products with an exceptionally light, fluffy texture.

For more information, please contact us.

Three of the new Ring Bake Doughnuts

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Craft Bakers Association

We’re pleased to announce that Simply Doughnuts has become a member of the Craft Bakers Association.

Established in 1887, the CBA hosts numerous industry events and assists manufacturers with a host of issues, such as employment law, staff training and food safety. It operates across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.

It also serves as a “voice of the industry”, working with various trade bodies on legislation and government guidance, and to ensure that members’ needs are represented in high-level discussions.

To find out more about the benefits of membership, please visit the CBA website. Alternatively, call 01920 468061 or email LisaN (at) craftbakerassociation.co.uk.

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Our ‘Doughnation’ to Sue Ryder

This year, National Doughnut Week fell between 20th and 28th May and, because it’s a charitable event, we marked the occasion by donating a supply of doughnuts to the Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre in Fulwood, Lancashire.

A national charity, Sue Ryder supports people who are living with a terminal illness or a neurological condition, and those who have suffered bereavement. Its Neurological Care Centre in Lancashire opened in March 2020 and includes 40 en-suite rooms and an additional four individual living apartments on site.

When one of the organisation’s employees contacted us, suggesting that a doughnut donation might be an excellent way to mark National Doughnut Week, we readily agreed. We organised a delivery and, soon afterwards, we received an email thanking us and reporting that the doughnuts were being enjoyed by staff and residents alike.

If you’d like to support Sue Ryder, you can visit its online shop, make a donation, raise funds or volunteer. More options and ideas can be found on its website.

The official National Doughnut Week website can be found here, together with details of how it supports another charity, The Children’s Trust.

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National Bakery Awards 2023

On 4 May 2023, the hosts of the National Bakery Awards declared Simply Doughnuts one of its county winners, according us the title of ‘Best Bakery in Lancashire.’

The full list of county winners can be seen here.

As a county winner, we will now be put forward into the regional heats – the winners of which will be announced at the national awards event. The National Bakery Awards Grand Final will take place on 12 July at 30 Euston Square in London.

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ISM Expo – A Useful Visit

Towards the end of April, we visited ISM 2023, which is billed as the world’s largest trade fair for sweets and snacks. This year, it took place in Cologne, Germany, between 23rd and 25th April. It featured around 1200 exhibitors and we were among an estimated 25,000 food industry professionals who visited.

We made the decision to attend as part of our ongoing export growth strategy, which has already seen Simply Doughnuts’ products being stocked in stores and hypermarkets across the Gulf States. Here, though, there was a wider international audience and we used the opportunity to start a variety of useful new working relationships.

In particular, we are looking at new opportunities in European countries, so we were pleased to attract very positive feedback from a number of European agents and distributors. We also began discussions with food ingredient suppliers and one or two fellow brand-owners with which we may be able to collaborate in the months and years ahead.

The event was also an opportunity to catch up with some long-standing contacts and to build on ideas that we have been developing collectively for some time. These ideas are still being tested and worked through, but we’re confident that they will ultimately give rise to new products, new deals and new ventures.

Next year’s ISM Expo will be held between the 28th and 31st January 2024.