Paul Baker, the founder of Manchester-based bakery business, St Pierre Groupe, has been awarded the title of North West & Isle of Man Director of the Year Award in the International category, by the Institute of Directors (IoD). The awards, which are in their 16th year and took place on 15 July, celebrate the pinnacle of leadership excellence, whilst highlighting the significant contribution business leaders can make to society and the economic prosperity in the North West region.
St Pierre Groupe is the UK’s number one branded bakery business, as well as an international market leader in the bakery sector. Supplying European bakery products into the UK, Ireland and worldwide export markets via the multiple, convenience and wholesale channels, St Pierre Groupe’s brand portfolio includes St Pierre, Baker Street and Paul Hollywood – all of which are currently in the top five fastest growing large bakery brands[i]. It exports 77 products, which are listed in over 35,000 stores.
Paul Baker, Founder of St Pierre Groupe, comments: “Winning this award is really a plaudit to our fantastic team – both here in Manchester and in America. We work together seamlessly and share a bold growth ambition, which combined with an agile supply chain, allows our business to thrive. It is thanks to their dedication and passion that we broke into the American market with our brioche brand, St Pierre; and now five years later, St Pierre is worth 100 million dollars and is the fastest growing bakery brand in the US. It is as a result of this business growth that we have recently been able to grow our team by a third. I’m confident that by investing in talent and surrounding ourselves with good people that we will continue to be a market leading business at home and abroad for many years to come.”
The judges were impressed with Paul’s unique skill set, entrepreneurial attitude and commercial prowess, which has pioneered, driven and grown profitable overseas markets for the St Pierre brand. Launched in the US in 2014 and assisted by Paul driving a red Dodge Challenger filled with products across the country, America now accounts for 60% of the brand’s volume. Paul’s baking heritage, integrity and credibility also contributed to securing the UK licence for the Paul Hollywood brand.