All rise for the Ministry of Cake – bringing chocolate fudge cake and apple crumble to the Wetherspoon dessert menu since 2013.
Celebrating its 150th birthday this year, the company used to be known as W T Maynard & Son and was bought by Chris Ormrod in 2005. He brought the business into the modern era and changed the name.
“It was a lovely family business, but we wanted to call it something which would make customers smile,” he says. “And I could call myself prime minister!”
After a spell as part of a larger company, Ministry of Cake is once again privately owned and, in the last 10 years, has grown fourfold. Still based in the West Country, it now employs 280 people on two sites, producing three million slices of cake weekly.
The chocolate fudge cake is its signature dessert. Like the apple crumble, it’s made to a recipe developed exclusively for Wetherspoon. They’re both made from scratch, with no ready-made cake mixes used.
Whole Bramley apple pieces are, for instance, used in the apple crumble, and topped by hand to create that satisfyingly crunchy rocky texture.
The Ministry operates an approved supplier scheme, auditing the firms it deals with and ensuring that all ingredients are fully traceable – whether it’s the eggs, the milk or the cream, it knows exactly where they’ve come from.
That’s what wins awards – and it’s won many. Chris Ormrod, though, is especially proud when they come from customers – like the one Wetherspoon gave it last year, for Best New Supplier!