Investment Award brings a slice of business joy for bakery employees

Baker to the stars and quality caterer Konditor & Cook has had its mission to explore a transition to employee ownership boosted by winning the 2016 EOA Investment Award.Konditor & Cook staff with investment award cake

Presented at the EOA Conference 2016, the £10,000 Award was sponsored by the John Lewis Partnership, allocated by its employees from fundraising for Employee Ownership Day.

The award was open to any entrepreneur who is about to create an employee owned business.

The company, which will use the money to engage experts to explore which model delivers best value and to communicate the transition to Employee Ownership with its staff, was established in 1999 by pastry chef – or Konditor – Gerhard Jenne.

Konditor & Cook’s compelling story includes fans and customers such as Nigella Lawson and the Rolling Stones and its mission to “bring joy” to all through its luxury cakes, bespoke bakes, its cake school experiences or its day to day customers looking for a hot lunch or an afternoon indulgence at one of its 6 London-based shops.

And when it came to looking for a succession plan as Gerhard looks to move on in the future, the option to give his employees a stake in the business seemed a perfect fit with the company’s values, to reward their hard work and to ensure the future of the brand built up over many years.

CEO of Konditor & Cook Paul Conns said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to further explore our objective of becoming employee owned.

“We’ve always been passionate about engaging our workforce and we feel that our vision to create a 21st century family cake businesses will be helped by a move to employee ownership which offers us an exit strategy that more closely fits our values than the other options we have looked at.”

Simon Fowler, Director of Communications, John Lewis Partnership, and Chairman of the Employee Ownership Association said:

“As an employee owned business committed to the co-ownership model, the John Lewis Partnership set up the Award to continue the development of highly productive, profitable, ethical and long-term businesses that engage their employees, and invest in their communities.

We are delighted to support Konditor & Cook and anticipate that the win will set them up for further success as they continue their journey towards employee ownership.  The judges were particularly excited about the company’s plan to use the award win to communicate the transition to employees and were impressed with its support of the local communities in which they operate.”

Deb Oxley, CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, said:

“Congratulations Konditor & Cook. It is a pleasure to hear of a company that looks to bring joy to its customers and its staff which is in stark contrast to some of the business stories we have heard in 2016.

“In a time where the government is talking about more employee involvement in businesses, better corporate governance and a better way of doing business that benefits everyone, this is a prime example of a great British brand that is not just about profit but about what it brings to its customers, community and staff.

“When it comes to succession planning employee ownership is a real option for businesses that wish to preserve their values, brand and key assets, including their staff while allowing the owners to move on from the business.”