Severe cost-cutting at Patisserie Valerie revealed ‘no butter puff pastry’

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The new owner of Patisserie Valerie, which has its headquarters in Hall Green, has revealed that corner-cutting reached extreme levels, including stripping butter out of key products.

Matt Scaife, a partner at the Dublin-based Causeway Capital Partners bought Patisserie Valerie out of administration for just £5m in January.

In an interview with The Telegraph he said a cost-cutting approach was so severe that managers stopped using butter in the cake chain’s puff pastry as well as broken ovens, unpaid suppliers, and a leak in the roof at a key bakery site.

Patisserie Valerie shocked investors last year when it revealed a £94m black hole in its accounts.

“Things had been going wrong for a considerable time and as soon as we arrived the extent of the under-investment became increasingly apparent,” said Scaife. “There were ovens that had been broken for several months, and there was a leak in the bakery roof. Suppliers were often left unpaid, while new ones were sought. Overall, it was not a good culture.”

Six months on from the buyout the “new” Patisserie Valerie is looking much brighter, Scaife said on Sunday, with plans to replace the outlets’ salmon and brown colour scheme and install a smaller menu.

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