Royal visit to historic Cheshire firm

Thu 27th June 2019 12.24PM

Royal visit to historic Cheshire firm
A family company famed for its breakfast products worldwide welcomed a Royal visitor marking the launch of a new Innovation Centre at its South Cheshire headquarters.

Mornflake, home to the British 'Mighty Oat,' played host to His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, Her Majesty The Queen's first cousin, as it continues to nourish the world with its oat-based cereals milled in Crewe.

The Duke, 83, unveiled a plaque officially opening the Innovation Centre where the ingredients for tasty new lines are blended and packed before being sent on their way around the world.

The Royal guest was told about the history of Mornflake which is Britain's fourth oldest family-owned company, spanning 15 generations of the Lea family starting with William Lea who began milling oats in Swettenham in 1675.

The Duke heard how the company is an ambassador for Crewe of global reach with products reaching breakfast tables in 56 different countries including China, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Australia - all proudly carrying the town's name on each and every cereal packet.

A rebranding exercise, hailing Crewe - home to the 'Mighty Oat' - was continuing to raise the profile of the humble oat as a nutritional powerhouse loved by everyone from food bloggers to extreme sport fans.

The Duke was greeted at Mornflake's Gresty Road mil by managing director, John Lea, his sons, James and Edward, and Cheshire East Mayor Cllr Barry Burkhill and his wife, Sue, Mayoress.

The party was shown the automated processes involved in the Innovation Centre, which has been built on-site in a former warehouse to upscale new lines created in the mill's development kitchen.

The Duke also heard how the firm ,with its trademark orange branding, creates a variety of porridge, granola and muesli products which help support the livelihoods of British farmers by using only their oats.

Mr Lea, a former High Sheriff of Cheshire and serving Deputy Lieutenant, said: "Just like the railway industry, which shaped Crewe's past and will drive it forward, we don't stand still.

"Innovation is key and we strive to bring new flavours and textures to cereal-lovers who appreciate our unstinting dedication to quality and remain loyal to the brand.

"We take great pride in flying the flag for Crewe and it was a tremendous honour to welcome His Royal Highness to Gresty Road as we begin this new chapter in our history."

Mornflake is a major South Cheshire employer of more than 300 people and a long-time sponsor of Crewe Alexandra FC and crowd-pullers such as the upcoming Nantwich Show.

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