Tregroes Waffles

  • Tregroes Waffles is a small, family run Bakery based in the Teifi Valley in South-West Wales. It started life in 1983 when Kees Huysmans came to Wales and set up a market stall selling his version of traditional Dutch stroop.
  • Recruiting locally, the business employees 15 people and remains strongly embedded in the community – a local institution.
  • The owner began to explore the concept of Employee Ownership about five years before the transition started, inspired by the John Lewis Partnership model.
  • In 2016, Kees sold 10% of his shares to the Trust using company profits to pay for them. As part of the agreement, the owner will sell a further 10% to the Trust each year provided the company is able to pay for them.
  • The Employee Ownership model has enabled Tregroes Waffles to maintain and build upon its success in the area.
  • Benefits: smooth business succession, keeping the company locally-rooted, workforce empowerment, buy-in and engagement, and the ability to manage ongoing culture change.
  • Learnings: a successful transition relies upon careful planning, a strong team, expert external advisors, and a realistic timetable and a shared belief in the ongoing viability and strength of the brand.