Dorset-based specialist biscuit manufacturer is the first portfolio company of venture partnership between bakery giant Warburtons and accelerator Mission Ventures

Batch Ventures has announced a six-figure investment in The Artful Baker, a Dorset-based specialist biscuit manufacturer that produces a range of innovative biscotti. Batch Ventures is the venture partnership between bakery giant Warburtons and accelerator Mission Ventures.

The investment is the first of several that the joint venture expects to make this year, representing a new approach to backing SMEs through a partnership between the challenger brand builder and Warburtons.

Paul Rostand founded The Artful Baker in 2013, and today the brand sells across the UK. The company’s sub-brand Great British Biscotti Co. supplies to retail, foodservice, and export markets.

The business has won numerous Great Taste and Quality Food Awards for its innovation, and supplies white label biscotti to Hotel Chocolat.

“We’re excited to be partnered with Batch Ventures and see the support they provide as a great step forward on our journey of scaling the business, both here in the UK and via export trade,” said Rostand. “We already supply our biscotti to Italy and are seeing increased interest from buyers overseas.”

Warburton chairman Jonathan Warburton commented: “We were impressed with The Artful Baker’s quality of products and level of innovation and see a great opportunity to support their growth plans. Working with Mission Ventures and using Batch as a vehicle for small investments in a portfolio of promising brands gives us an opportunity to support early stage entrepreneurs.”

Batch Ventures is designed to support the growth of SMEs and start-ups working in and around baked goods. The joint venture combines equity funding together with hands-on support from successful entrepreneurs and industry professionals.

Paddy Willis, chief executive of Mission Ventures, said: “Paul and his team at The Artful Baker have proven their ability to make high quality products. Batch Ventures is pioneering a new approach to corporate venturing and the combined experience of our team of seasoned entrepreneurs with the support of Warburtons brings great strength to his operation.”

Batch Ventures expects to announce a second investment in February and is actively seeking new investment opportunities to back British enterprise.

Date published: 11 February 2021

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