Cybake underpins rapid growth at Bertie’s Bakery

March 26, 2024

Bertie’s Bakery is a wholesale producer of breads, cakes and snacks based in Toomebridge, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The business was started in 2020 by industry veteran Brian McErlain (pictured above), whose parents were also commercial bakers, and is named after his mother, Roberta. It installed Cybake to manage its operations pretty much right from the start.

Since then, Bertie’s Bakery has struck deals to supply grocers like Tesco, Spar and the Co-op and now its distinctively branded offerings are on sale in around 350 stores.

Brian McErlain says that Cybake is a far cry from the original bakery management systems he first encountered thirty years ago.

He says: “Cybake is a lot easier to use, like the advances in all technology, I suppose, because it is web based. You can be anywhere. I can go on in the morning, check into Cybake, look at the output reports, see the EDI orders coming in overnight, see what the order is for Tesco tomorrow. And I can see it before I leave the house, on the tablet.

“Also, when you are at our level, it’s an economic enough system. Nobody likes paying for anything, but I have seen horrendous investments in I.T. systems that probably didn’t do as good a job. With Cybake, all the functionality is there between recipes set up and the ability to take EDI.”

As well as finding Cybake’s mobility useful himself, Brian also points out its advantages for his delivery drivers.

“The guys out on the road are using the tablet or the phone, and, because of customer demand, you have to print a picking sheet to go with it. It is a lot easier to amend their orders on site because we have some customers that operate with sale and return.”

Cybake’s ease-of-use is another plus factor for his delivery drivers, says Brian:

“From my perspective, with ten or eleven drivers, when we start new drivers, they seem to pick it up pretty easily. It would be a problem if everybody wasn’t able to use the tablet. If it was that complicated, they wouldn’t use them. It must be user friendly otherwise they wouldn’t be able to use it.”


Brian also points to other benefits from using Cybake: “It’s flexible and it’s easy to train people to use it. It’s all there. It’s easy to set new features that weren’t there originally.

“For example, we are closed Easter Monday so the customers that always get their orders on a Monday have to get them on a Tuesday. So, rather than punch everything in, we are able to transfer the data and just take all the orders and transfer them over to another date. That’s a massive plus in development in the system.”

Like many Cybake users, Bertie’s Bakery produces a local speciality, selling tens of thousands of soda farls each year.

A farl is a quadrant-shaped round soda bread traditional to Ulster which is cut into four pieces. Brian explains farls were originally made in the home on a griddle or hot plate.

He says: “In terms of the recipe, it’s basically what we would call a soft flour, which wouldn’t be as high in protein level as, say, a bap or a roll, which would be a yeast-type product. We’re talking about protein level around ten percent or something in the flour. It is then chemically aerated as opposed to yeast aerated.”

Baking powder helps whiten the mix, he says, and then Bertie’s adds buttermilk which provides a very soft tangy mix.

“Some people often liken it to ciabatta in terms of it being kind of slippery and stuff, and then it’s cut into farl shapes. We do a bacon and cheese version of them now, which gives you a meal in one.”

Despite launching during the pandemic, Bertie’s Bakery has grown fast, established a popular brand, and has ambitious plans for more. Will Cybake continue to underpin this success?

“I don’t see why it won’t,” says Brian. “It can take it. We just launched with Tesco. We are about to do business with others, so I’m not sure what their systems are yet. We’re doing business with the Co-op. That’s all set up. So, yeah, it’s all good to go.”

If you would life to find out more about Cybake software and how it can help your bakery grow, please contact us here or use our LiveChat below.

Categories: Blog
Tags: Berties Bakery Brian McErlain EDI Northern Ireland wholesale bakery
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Chris James is a communications specialist for Cybake and Cybake USA.

Company profile

We started creating ERP-class software solutions for the baking industry in 1998.

Since then, we’ve gained a reputation for friendly and reliable customer support, a deep understanding of retail and wholesale bakery, and for our expertise in cutting-edge systems and technology.

Now, bakers of all types and sizes rely on Cybake® bakery software to control their businesses, cut admin, improve efficiency and increase sales.