Duchy Originals

The Company

Duchy Originals was launched in 1990 by HRH The Prince of Wales, as a premium organic food supplier and food manufacturer with all profits going to The Prince’s Charities Foundation, to support a number of worthwhile projects. They supply most of the major multiple retailers and in particular, Waitrose, who are an investor in the business.

The Challenge

To recruit an entire Senior Site Team.

Duchy Originals had the idea to create a food manufacturing site in Cornwall that would produce organic high-quality hand-finished baked goods, and in particular premium Cornish Pasties. In order to achieve their vision, they needed to recruit an entire management team who would take the idea and turn it into a commercial reality. They contacted Food Careers and we were delighted to assist them in the recruitment of a senior site team.

Food Careers were challenged to work in tandem with Duchy Originals to recruit the nucleus of a management team that would take an empty factory shell and turn it into an efficient production unit capable of producing premium baked goods using locally sourced ingredients.

The Result

Food Careers were genuinely excited by the business, it’s high profile and ‘blue sky’ nature of the project and were able to convey this to candidates, immediately ensuring candidate ‘buy in’ and understanding. As Cornwall can be a challenging area to recruit for, we utilised a wide range of recruitment techniques to attract a number of high calibre candidates for the four key positions. This included: contingency/database, print media advertising, online advertising and executive search/headhunt.

Food Careers assisted Duchy Originals to recruit an entire senior site team consisting of:

  • Factory Manager
  • Production Manager
  • Buyer
  • NPD Chef

The selection process was extremely thorough and for the Factory Manager role, involved arranging interviews with a CEO of a FTSE 100 company, who also acted as a Non Executive Director of Duchy Originals.

Once recruited, the assembled team were able to deliver the project on-time on-budget and take responsibility for the on-going management of the site following an extremely busy period where they: sourced bakery machinery and food process plant, managed the installation and commissioning of plant, implemented quality and food safety standards, introduced production and logistics systems, ran factory trials, recruited and trained bakery operatives, and developed high profile baked products most notably a hand crimped organic Cornish pastry.

This case study is an example of how Food Careers can assist where multiple recruits are required within a difficult geographical area (Cornwall). It also demonstrates how we can utilise a broad range of recruitment techniques to successfully recruit an entire senior team, capable of turning the germ of an idea into a commercially viable food manufacturing site.