John McIlvogue has spent the past two weeks working tirelessly with a consortium of local business people on a master plan to revitalize the Drumchapel-based company.
So far he has secured 110 jobs, but says he will not rest until he has put all 230 people who have been laid off back on the payroll.
@glasgowtimes We spoke to one of the investors who told us that production of Mortons Rolls will resume on Sunday. Rolls will be back in the shops on Monday. #mortons #mortonsrolls #glasgow #glasgownnews ♬ original sound – Glasgow Times
John says it will be a ‘bittersweet moment’ when production tires start rolling again on Sunday and insists he will continue to seek the financial support needed to reinstate the entire workforce and modernize and future-proof the dilapidated factory. to make.
The entrepreneur told the Glasgow Times exclusively: “For me it was very simple, Mortons Roll is an iconic name and an institution that the city should never miss.
“The most important thing for all investors is to save the jobs – all of them. The thought of generations of families facing unemployment in the local community just doesn’t sit well with us.
“We know the impact the closure has had on people’s lives and the worry and stress it has caused for staff who don’t know how they are going to pay their bills.
“None of us wanted the past few weeks to unfold the way they have, but we have absolutely no control over it.
“I would have liked to have all the staff back where they belong for the factory reopening on Sunday, but that just wasn’t possible from the start.”
Mortons Rolls was bought out by investors PVL following talks with HMRC, trustees and the Scottish Government. The company is known for its crispy rolls and its “We built this city on Mortons Rolls” fleet of vehicles.
John added: “In the short term we have managed to secure positions for about half of the workforce, but in the longer term we aim to see everyone come back.
“This is the first step in getting Mortons Rolls back to where it belongs and we are ready to start producing our famous rolls that the good people of Glasgow have been clamoring for.”
Founded in 1965, the company became a much-loved breakfast staple in Glasgow and the west. In recent years, financial difficulties due to the Covid pandemic and the rise in energy prices, exacerbated by contractual obligations to large supermarkets, led the company to halt production in early March.
READ MORE: Mortons Rolls: ‘All is not lost’ says Glasgow MSP Paul Sweeney
PVL now has control over the company’s assets and is confident that it will be able to turn its fortunes around.
However, John admits the company still faces major challenges and will focus on supplying small independent retailers rather than supplying supermarket chains such as Lidl and Aldi.
He explained: “We are going back to basics and focusing on local shops, burger vans, cafes and restaurants in the city.
“From now on, if you want a Mortons sandwich, you have to go to your local store. While the supermarket contracts looked very lucrative on paper, in reality it was not profitable and so we are changing our approach and rebuilding the business to what it does best.
“Our plan now is to focus on crispy and soft sandwiches and potato scones. A further look at cakes and confectionery.
“We want to be as honest and sincere as possible with people, and the truth is that we will need help moving forward.
“The business is undoubtedly viable – we have a world class product and an exceptionally experienced workforce – but the factory itself is outdated and needs a serious overhaul. are hopeful that we can iron it out in the coming weeks.
We have previously told how Mortons Rolls ceased operations on March 3 after 58 years as the company was on the verge of collapse, with redundancy notices to staff. It reported a loss of £262,000 on sales of more than £11.8 million for 2021.
John added: “It’s going to take a lot of work, but we know we can make a loved product that will continue to do well.
“I am hopeful that every member of staff will return – and every effort is being made to ensure that this happens.
“It has been a very stressful couple of weeks with a lot of negotiations in the background with HMRC trustees and the Scottish Government.
“In an ideal world, these things would all have been resolved before we restarted production, but the reality is that we couldn’t keep the staff in the dark any longer. They needed us to open the gates and let them get back to what they know, and we knew that was the right and right thing to do. The love and support Mortons has received over the past few weeks has been overwhelming, it has been incredible.
“Only in Glasgow would a morning sandwich evoke so much affection, but it shows the strength of this brand and it proves the potential of what we can achieve in the years to come. We are absolutely committed to getting this right, to putting Morton’s on a sustainable footing and an upward trajectory, but we need the support of the Scottish Government to do this.”
READ MORE: Mortons Rolls in Glasgow to ‘restart production’
Paul Sweeney, Labor MSP, who supported the takeover negotiations, said: “It is with a sense of relief that after nearly two weeks of intense, detailed talks, production is now resuming at Mortons Rolls and more than 100 jobs have been saved.
“These conditions are by no means perfect and there is still work to be done to ensure that Mortons is a sustainable business that can thrive for generations to come.
“There’s a commitment from the government to make sure they do everything they can to make sure that’s the case, and I’ll do everything I can to hold them to that commitment.”