From stroopwafels to pancakes, Sugden delights international audiences through its hotplate innovations 

As a globally recognized leader in its field, Sugden Ltd specializes in the design and manufacture of hotplate plant for the production of delicious products such as pancakes, English muffins, crumpets, potato cakes, Welsh cakes, farls, and soda bread. Focused on providing customized solutions, Sugden tailors its hotplate equipment to suit diverse requirements and production facility environments. Since January 2021, Sugden has expanded its offering to include the complete portfolio of Vanderpol Waffle Systems, encompassing stroopwafels, Belgian waffles, FunCakes, and soft waffles. Chris Baldwin, Managing Director, updates us on Sugden’s activity since the last time we spoke two years ago. 

“Over the past couple of years, our organization has undergone significant growth and strategic transformation to better suit evolving business needs. Among the highlights, our workforce has expanded across all departments, thus boosting our operational capabilities. Notably, we have successfully completed the integration of Vanderpol equipment into our operations. This acquisition marks a significant milestone for our company. Indeed, the integration of Vanderpol’s waffle lines, which share similarities with our own Sugden lines, has facilitated a smooth transition. As a result, our production facilities are now functioning at full capacity, with two state-of-the-art production lines making 25,000 stroopwafels per hour to meet the needs of our valued overseas clientele. Moreover, we are very proud to announce our recent milestone of installing the first Sugden crumpet plant in North America, achieving a remarkable output of 14,400 crumpets per hour. Additionally, Sugden is currently involved in several projects including the installation of an English muffin line and two stroopwafel lines, empowering us to provide these delicacies to our North American client base,” he informs. 

Chris Baldwin, Managing Director Sugden Ltd
Chris Baldwin, Managing Director Sugden Ltd

In addition to the newly integrated Vanderpol equipment, Chris reveals that Sugden has invested in more technologies to enhance efficiencies. “To keep enhancing our production lines, Sugden places great emphasis on energy efficiency and automation,” he continues. “A notable advancement within the company is the adoption of electric infrared emitters which effectively heat our mini hotplate, hence enabling accurate temperature control and giving us an opportunity to reach a wider customer base. Additionally, we are currently in the process of developing electrical alternatives to our current production lines, which aligns with our sustainability goals,” he adds. 

To complement its adoption of cutting-edge technologies, Sugden actively invests in innovative operating software and digitization. “We have recently made significant investments in a new purpose-built store system to better suit our needs, and we are currently implementing Progress Plus software into our manufacturing operations. This strategic move is set to substantially enhance our efficiencies and pave the way for future growth,” emphasizes Chris. 

Turning to his other business venture, Baldwin Technical Services Ltd, Chris explains its role as well as how it interacts with Sugden, with which it is partnered. “Baldwin Technical Services has experienced steady year-on-year growth, particularly within the bulk handling sector, which has significantly taken off in the past three years with multiple installations across the UK. In addition, the panel health check and compliance segment of the business has shown consistent expansion, especially in areas related to system health and safety compliance. Since the beginning of this partnership, Sugden and Baldwin Technical Services have interacted daily, thus facilitating project coordination. One of the design and software engineers stationed at Sugden ensures all information is captured and the project runs smoothly, mainly on the controls side. With the capacity to handle up to four projects at once, our Baldwin Technical Services installation team maintains a constant presence at Sugden, ensuring efficient project progress,” he highlights. 

With a diverse range of projects and developments currently underway, Chris details his aspirations for Sugden for the year ahead. “Currently, Sugden is busy exploring several projects worldwide, ranging from filled pancakes to fun cakes, waffles, and English muffin lines. Our upcoming participation in Gulfood Saudi Arabia in May presents an opportunity to further discover potential opportunities in the region. As for the remainder of the year, Sugden will seek to achieve full functionality of the operating software along with the new store facility. This will promise significant improvements in both time and cost efficiencies across all aspects of the business. Furthermore, as we recognize the key role of our workforce in driving Sugden’s success, we consider this investment essential to enhance time usage across all our operations,” he affirms. 

Looking further afield, Sugden has ambitious plans to continue on its growth trajectory over the next five years. “We have a clear vision and strategy in place to significantly expand our business in the longer term. To achieve this, we are committed to continual investment in our people and strive to consistently refine our processes. Above all, Sugden is actively pursuing opportunities to enter new markets across the globe,” ends Chris. 

Carefully guided by Chris’ visionary leadership and through its dedication to innovation, customization and operational excellence, Sugden is poised to achieve even greater success worldwide over the coming years. By relentlessly enhancing efficiencies whilst exploring new avenues, the company is primed to continue prospering as a leading global supplier of premium hotplate equipment.