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Wrexham bakery pioneer honored with MBE

Alan Jones, a 79-year-old visionary, has been awarded an MBE for his outstanding contributions to the baking industry. Alan’s transformative journey began with a humble back street bakery, initially staffed by only five individuals. Today, that bakery has evolved into the renowned Jones Village Bakery, an enterprise employing a workforce of 800 and boasting a turnover exceeding £80 million.

While Alan has retired from the day-to-day operations, his legacy lives on through his two sons. Robin now serves as the managing director, while Christien takes on the role of project director. Under their leadership, this family-run business in Wrexham continues to thrive and prosper.

Reflecting on the honor bestowed upon him in the King’s birthday honors, Alan expressed his delight and recounted a cherished memory when the King, who was then the Prince of Wales, graciously inaugurated a new bakery in 2015. Alan shared, “It was a wonderful day, and the royal couple were absolutely delightful and full of fun.” He also expressed his surprise upon receiving the MBE, stating, “In the early days, I would never have dreamed that we would have reached where we are today, with five bakeries in Minera and on Wrexham Industrial Estate.”

Alan humbly acknowledged that his family played an integral role in the bakery’s success. He emphasized, “It’s not just about me because the staff are fantastic, and I have three sons who have worked in the business.” In addition to Robin and Christien, Alan’s other son, Tim, contributed to the company for 25 years before pursuing a successful career in the property industry. Furthermore, Alan credited his wife, Wendy, hailing from a family of bakers, for her unwavering support and the indispensable role she played in their achievements.

Alan’s journey began as an apprentice baker at Scott’s Bakery in Netherton, Liverpool. His passion and dedication led him to obtain a City and Guilds qualification, followed by a National Diploma in baking and confectionery. Throughout his illustrious career, Alan received numerous awards and accolades, with the pinnacle being the Outstanding Contribution Award presented to him at the Baking Industry Awards in 2018.

However, the bakery faced a significant setback in 2019 when a fire ravaged their flagship location. Undeterred, they swiftly recovered and erected a new bakery, baking academy, and headquarters offices, covering an impressive 140,000 square feet—four times the size of their former premises.

Alan expressed his admiration for the dedicated staff, many of whom have been with the company for over three decades. He remarked, “The policy of growing our own has been fundamental to the success of the Village Bakery because they have bought into the culture. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.” Alan highlighted the importance of quality in their operations, asserting, “Quality has been at the core of our philosophy from day one. Quality is more important than profit. We need profit, of course, but if you have quality, everything else falls into place. It’s easier to sell quality products.” He attributed their progress and loyal customer base to the unwavering commitment to excellence.

Alan expressed immense pride in his sons and their unwavering adherence to these principles. He stated, “My sons are carrying on with those same principles, and I am very proud of them.”

The recognition of Alan Jones with an MBE serves as a testament to his exceptional contributions to the baking industry. His entrepreneurial spirit, dedication to quality, and commitment to fostering a close-knit bakery community have left an indelible mark on Wrexham and beyond.