Prima Bakeries

Cornwall-based Prima Bakeries is a family-run manufacturer of bread, cakes, confectionery and Cornish pasties that was purchased by Mark Norton in 2010. 

A further bakery was acquired in 2011 as part of a growth strategy that saw the company expanding into supplying hotels, restaurants and cafes.

Managing Director, Mark explains that persuading one of the previous owners to stay on as General Manager was an important tactic. “He manages production, whereas I look after administration due to my background in marketing and finance. It’s been a winning combination,” he says.

Access to expertise

The business didn’t have access to expertise in employment law or health & safety advice, so Mark turned to Mentor to ensure the expansion of Prima Bakeries happened smoothly.

He initially used the Mentor Employment Law & HR service to help him set up a robust set of HR processes and documentation, including overhauling existing contracts and creating an employee handbook.

“Following the purchase of the second business, Mentor advised us on TUPE – Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) – regulations, which helped us to bring on board the new staff without any issues,” he adds.

“Mentor has also helped us to manage one challenge around long-term sick leave, along with a major rescheduling of existing shift patterns, which represents a change to employee contracts.” 

Help at hand

A Mentor consultant is always at the other end of the phone, meaning Mentor acts as a one-stop-shop for employment law or HR advice.
In 2013, the business took on the Mentor Health & Safety service and, following an initial audit, is now working through its findings. “The audit highlighted that, while our staff receive good training, we don’t always have proof of this,” Mark explains. 

“Mentor identified that we need to do more to evidence training undertaken in areas such as manual handling and the use of machinery.

“Mentor services keep me up-to-date with all the latest changes to legislation. In a modern business, the only constant is change, and having access to expert advice is invaluable.”

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