A bakery firm has bounced back from a devastating fire by clinching a multi-million pound deal to supply its new range of American-style bagels to a top UK retailer.

The bagels being made by the Village Bakery in Wrexham have been launched by the well-known chain in more than 600 of their stores nationwide.

It comes just a month after the blaze that destroyed one of the family firm’s four bakeries.

It prompted Ken Skates AM, the Welsh Government’s economy and transport minister, to describe the award-winning company’s resilience and recovery as “nothing short of miraculous”.

The company has also announced it is going to rebuild the fire-damaged bakery and make the new one “bigger and better” than the one it is replacing, either on the original site on Wrexham Industrial Estate or on nearby land in Ash Road which they already own and have planning permission for.

In the meantime, workers have been redeployed to the Village Bakery’s other three bakeries where production has been stepped up to maintain supplies to their customers

Another 30 of the staff displaced by the fire are now working in the bakery making the bagels, using a specialist production line imported from Canada.

Mr Skates, who is also the AM for Clwyd South, said: “The Village Bakery have shown incredible resilience and also they’ve kept their eye on the long term future and their ability to bounce back so quickly is nothing short of miraculous.

The Leader:

“What makes them so special is the quality of the product, the ingredients, the commitment to best practice in terms of manufacturing bread products, along with their fantastic workforce.

“The loyalty and the dedication of people who have been employed by the Village Bakery was striking in the aftermath of the fire and the ability to hold on to those dedicated and committed workers shows that Village Bakery is an excellent employer.

“The fact that they are launching a new product with their new range of bagels tells you all you need to know about the Village Bakery because it comes at a time when many people would have been wondering what the future of the company would look like. It is incredible.

“It shows the determination of the Jones family and also the ability of everybody within the Village Bakery family to bounce back from what could have been a terrible, monumental tragedy.

“The growth potential in the company is quite remarkable and the ambition is nothing short of enormous.

“Between the skills of the workforce, the ambition of management and committed customers who recognise the highest quality of what Village Bakery offer, this business has the brightest future imaginable.”

Managing director Robin Jones and his brother, Christien, the projects director, spent a year researching and planning the launch of the new range of bagels.

He said: “From our point of view, the most important thing of all was that nobody was hurt in the fire, not even a scratch, which means we can now concentrate on creating an even brighter future for the Village Bakery.

“The bagels have been in the plan for a long, long time and last year Christien and myself went a road tour of the States, from New York, Philadelphia, Seattle to Portland in Oregon to understand what makes a great bagel.

“We have taken the best bits and brought them back to Wales.”

Christien added: “The timing is quite fortuitous because the bagel range has created 30 jobs which meant that it’s helped retain staff displaced by what’s happened.

“It’s a positive win-win and we’ll bounce back even stronger, bigger and better than we were before.”