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Sisters aim to bring baking brand to retailers

A FOOD business run by three sisters is growing its staff numbers by 60% with the opening of a second outlet and has outlined plans to take the brand onto retail shelves by the end of this year.

Three Sisters Bake is taking on 12 people in a mixture of full-time and part-time roles as it moves to operate the cafe at Finlaystone Country Estate in Renfrewshire.

The company, run by Reith sisters Gillian, Nichola and Linsey, is investing a five-figure sum in the fit-out and revamp of the premises while also adding ice-cream to its range of cakes and savoury dishes.

The operation at Finlaystone, which opens today, will have around 45 seats indoors with a similar level of capacity in the outdoor space.

Gillian said: "The owners decided they wanted someone with a bit of a name in the area and to do something a bit different to make the cafe an attraction in its own right, rather than just an amenity.

"We want to do something really special that will add to what is going on."

The company's initial site at Quarriers Village, which opened in 2011, currently employs 18 people and the company recorded a turnover of more than £350,000 in the 12 months to April 2013.

The sisters are also starting to make strides towards getting their products stocked in other outlets.

They have been taking advice from the likes of Business Gateway and Scottish Enterprise on designing packaging and ramping up manufacturing capacity.

One option under consideration is to go to 24-hour shift patterns in the existing kitchen premises.

Gillian said: "We have products developed we would like to take forward but the process of actually manufacturing then going out and selling is not something we have done before.

"The research and business plans and stages will all be fully underway in 2014 so we are hopeful we will be up and running with one or two product lines by the end of this year then start focusing more heavily on it going into 2015.

"The aim is we will be able to sell to other small delis and cafes then ultimately looking beyond that to higher-end supermarkets and independent shops."

Gillian believes the company's recent investment in its own food truck will start to bear fruit this summer with a first event booked in for May with a busy calendar then running through to autumn.

She said: "We can only serve so many customers in our cafe premises [so] we hope the food truck will allow us to take our products and brand out around Scotland and show it off to people who might not have heard of us before.

"The food truck movement is taking hold in the UK and there is evidence of it in London with lots of vibrant markets.

"It is creeping into Scotland now and there are a few really exciting young companies which are starting to make an impact."

The Three Sisters Bake cookbook was published in March as a further extension of the brand the sisters are building.

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Food and drink

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