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Devon House Bakery to go national

Published:Sunday | December 30, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Devon House Bakery, which has been operated by Mother's Enterprises since December 2010, is to be expanded across Jamaica.

Mother's also eyes speciality bread market

Avia Collinder, Business Writer

Mother's Enterprises food chain, owned and operated by the Foreman family, has disclosed plans to open four new pastry stores throughout Jamaica at a ballpark cost of $80 million.

The patty maker is also preparing to diversify into the speciality bread market in 2013.

The new stores are slated to be an expansion of the chain's Devon House Bakery, which Mother's manages under lease following the departure of the Brick Oven from the grounds of the famed historic property.

Devon House Bakery was opened in December 2010 by Mother's, which permitted the patty maker to diversify into pastry lines including gourmet patties, banana breads, marble cake, sugar buns and other products which are now available for sale in the Hi-Lo, Empire and Progressive Grocers supermarket chains.

New lines to be introduced in 2013 at Devon House and which are now being tested include caramel brownies; new varieties of cheesecake; a cappuccino which is a cheesecake, chocolate and coffee fusion; chocolate macaroons and bread pudding.

"Handcrafted" patties have also been introduced as a signature product in six varieties: beef, lobster, chicken, shrimp, soya (powder) and fish .

Managing Director Richard Foreman says production facilities at the bakery have been doubled in size with additional facilities constructed behind the former store.

The new stores being planned, Foreman told Sunday Business, will showcase the products developed at Devon House as well as introduce "new and unique products in our Mother's restaurants".

He said the chain has invested J$20 million in the development of the bakery since opening in Christmas 2010, including a larger retail space.

growth in revenue

The returns from this and other relatively new business lines were not disclosed but Foreman said business "has improved dramatically since we opened in December 2010 and continues to improve as customers experience the best service, products and atmosphere."

He said revenue has grown both at Devon House and Mother's as a result of the new line of business, and which in turn "has allowed us to diversify into multiple pastry lines. This has also given us the opportunity improves our baking skills as we do our own bread products and will soon be producing new speciality pastries and bread products in all our Mother's restaurants".

The Devon House Bakery was leased by Mother's Enterprises, with Foreman noting that he anticipates "a long and beneficial relationship" with the managers of the property, which is a designated National Heritage Site.

In relation to the four new locations planned, Foreman said, "each new location will cost over J$20 million to establish, but we see a good demand for high quality bread and pastries. Our main objective, as always, is to give our customers great products at a good value."

The sites were not disclosed.

In the last three years, Foreman said Mother's has also invested almost J$100 million in the development of new cafeterias in a total of nine tertiary, secondary and primary schools, while noting that most schools have restaurant services which lag behind the growth of the school population.

Margins are relatively low, he said, but the cafeteria service is adding value in line with the company's corporate goals.