Loaf’s founder Sean Armstrong has received many accolades both overseas and here in New Zealand, for him launching Loaf was a natural progression after returning to New Zealand from London. We catch up with Kirsty Heron, Marketing Manager at Loaf to talk about the brand and product innovations.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“Loaf’s founder, Sean Armstrong undertook his chef training in New Zealand and then journeyed to London where he worked for several Michelin-Starred restaurants. After receiving various accolades he returned to New Zealand as head chef at Auckland’s O’Connell Street Bistro and went on to open the acclaimed Prime Bistro. During this time he discovered that there was room for a new bakery, one whose mantras were product quality and great customer service. So, in 2004 he founded Loaf Handcrafted Breads and set about creating high quality artisan breads and cakes.”
What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“Our range is extensive and includes hundreds of different products for the food service industry as well as dozens of retail products. The spectrum includes handcrafted breads, sourdoughs, cakes, slices, pastries, scones, muffins, doughnuts, gluten free products and recently Bliss Bites. Loaf is a true innovator in the industry, being the first to supply sliders and cronuts to New Zealand’s food service and retail markets.”
Has there been any recent company news?
"In June 2016 Loaf became the first bakery to ever become a finalist in the Lewisham Awards for Outstanding Supplier. In May 2016 we won Best New Product with our new Bliss Bites at the Bidvest Rotorua trade show. We’re also proud to be the first bakery to offer our customers with on-line ordering to provide them with a more efficient process, with less room for error."
What are the plans for the business moving forward is there any expansion on the horizon?
"Our mission is to produce food that our customers, whether they are chefs or accomplished home bakers, would happily pass off as their own. To achieve this we work closely with our customers, as well as following global food trends to ensure that we’re fulfilling their needs. Every year sees new products and new markets being developed. Bliss Bites are our latest offering and were created to address the demand for raw, nutritious snacks."
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability?
"Loaf remains a big player in the food service industry and 60 percent of our business is still handcrafting products for New Zealand’s restaurants, bars and cafes. In addition, we sell products into every supermarket and fine food retail chain in New Zealand as well as exporting to Australia and America."