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Bakery business holds bake-off competition to appoint new CEO

Owner Greg Wixted said he is excited but ‘slightly scared' by his decision to give away his business to the winner.

A London bakery is holding a bake-off competition to appoint the new CEO based on their ability to bake and their “passion for food”.

Greg Wixted, 49, a baker and entrepreneur from London, said he is excited but “slightly scared” by his decision to give away his new venture, Cakery Wonderland, to the winner of a baking competition.

Greg Wixted, 49, a baker and entrepreneur from London, said he is excited but "slightly scared" by his decision to give away his new venture,
Greg Wixted, 49, a baker and entrepreneur from London, said he is excited but “slightly scared” by his decision to give away his new venture (Greg Wixted/PA)

Mr Wixted told the PA news agency: “There is an unknown outcome and there is no risk mitigation for that outcome.

“I am excited by it and also slightly scared.

“But I know the make-up of the type of person that it takes to run a company like this, so in that respect it would be quite easy for us to screen people.

“I am looking for someone who is passionate, determined, honest, diligent, committed to a social cause and has passion for food.”

Around 340 people applied for the top role, out of which five have been selected for an interview before the bake-off next month.

Mr Wixted said he plans to pick a winner based on their “enthusiasm, willingness, and passion” to learn.

“They just have to show us that they have the capacity and ability to bake,” he said.

“I am not really interested in their CV at this point, I want to know how it is going to change their lives and what it means to them.

“That tells me a bit about their personality and what social purpose they want to serve.”

Mr Wixted, who is also a trained pilot, scuba-diving instructor and a published author, said he had struggled with learning when he was younger which has encouraged him to become a mentor to young entrepreneurs.

“I suffered badly from dyslexia which, back then, was unheard of,” Mr Wixted said.

“I struggled and there were no business advisors or a start-up ecosystem like we have today.

“I spent a lot of time figuring stuff out myself like how to start a company and how to file a trademark.

“I read company law books which was a struggle but at the same time I learnt so much and that is why I became a mentor.”

Mr Wixted’s other brand Britain Loves Baking, which sells baking boxes, donates 5% of its revenue towards food charities to feed those in need – something Mr Wixted hopes his replacement will continue.

A further 10% is donated from the revenue of all Mr Wixted’s companies to be used as grants for young people who need support to get into the food industry.

Mr Wixted said: “One of the most challenging things we have in society today is that too many people are going without food in our city.

“Hopefully they will get excitement out of helping other people as well.”