The story of Kingsbake as told by founder and business owner Sam Jacobi:
“As a twenty-something young man living in London’s West-End in the 90’s I was working for a small PR agency looking after some high-profile IT clients. It was a job which taught me a lot about business, but never fulfilled my entrepreneurial spirit."
By what sounds a completely random thing to do today, I recall flicking through a copy of Woman’s Own magazine and seeing a recipe for Peanut Flapjacks. The reader who submitted the recipe exclaimed how everyone loved these bars and scoffed the lot every time she made them. The curious in me decided to make this recipe up and see if they were truly as tasty as she claimed...
True to the recipe, the bars were delicious. Family and friends loved them so much that I fantasised about selling these bars all around London.
The enthusiasm of youth led me within a few months to find a small bakery who were willing to make some individually wrapped bars for me.
I came up with a brand name – “Ma Baker” which referenced the famous Boney M song of the same name and wanted these bars to stand out by their sheer size and called them “Giant Bars”. I ‘designed’ the labels myself on a DTP software package; all quite simple and naïve by today’s highly sophisticated market-led product launches. But then again, the early 90’s were much simpler times!
The Bakery start-up
The first few boxes were quickly sold. I would go around local convenience shops on the Edgeware Road, Paddington and Maida Vale in the evenings and weekends and would simply leave the shop a box or two of the Giant Peanut Bars on a sale-or-return basis. I would return a week later to find that the boxes were cleared out. The shop-keeper was then confident to give me a repeat order and pay for the first lot.
I did this for a few months building a network of retail shops who’d buy my bars from me. The thrill of repeat purchases is something that sticks with me to this day. And as great as it was, I quickly realised that while the bars were successful, I needed to change the business model in order to grow; and this meant quitting the office job and focusing on my very own bakery start-up!
"Fasttrack 30 years, 4 bakery moves and no less than 350 million bars sold; I look back at the early days with great fondness. Today we produce around 15 million bars a year across 30 delicious varieties and while we are a more sophisticated business, the heart and soul of the Kingsbake bakery hasn’t changed. I am as excited to make healthy eating, tasty flapjacks today as I was back in the day.
As our motto says, we’re proud to be baking with a big heart.”
Founder and business owner
Kingsbake is a division of First Quality Foods. Click the logo for more information