Jam maker completes puddings deal

ESSEX food company Wilkin & Sons, best known for its Tiptree range of preserves, has completed the acquisition of luxury pudding maker Coles Traditional Foods, based near Saffron Walden.

Coles, which specialises in traditional Christmas puddings and other premium puddings and cakes, employs around 20 staff at a purpose-built production unit at Great Chesterford.

Chris Cole, whose father started the first Coles bakery more than 70 years ago, will remain as managing director.

“It’s very much business as usual here at Great Chesterford,” he said. “My main concern was to protect the future of the business and to look after the workforce. I’m delighted that we will be working with Wilkin & Sons.”

Ian Thurgood, joint managing director at Wilkin, which is this year celebrating 125 years of jam making at Tiptree, added: “Coles has an international reputation for high quality. It’s a great opportunity for two premium brands to work together. We plan to develop and strengthen the Coles brand.”