Jamaican-British Father-Son Duo Sizzle to Victory in ‘Next Big Thing’ Contest Thanks to Their Authentic Jamaican Patty Recipe

Paul and Mike Williams of Peckham in the London Borough of Southwark are the winners of the Channel 4 “Aldi’s Next Big Thing” competition with the traditional, homemade Jamaican patties they have been providing to their local community from the Flake Bake bakery established in 2012. As a result, the duo has partnered with a big manufacturer that will maintain the look and flavors of their Jamaican patties and supply them to more than 1,000 Aldi supermarkets.

Triple Eats

A winning combination

The Flake Bake enterprise launched in 2012 after Paul Williams, 54, purchased the retail portion of the original bakery where he worked upon moving to the United Kingdom from Jamaica in the 1990s. The father and son were making 20,000 patties by hand each week as a rule, but after entering ‘Aldi’s Next Big Thing’ competition, business boomed. Paul’s son, Mike Williams, 33, heard about the competition when a friend sent him the link to an application in June 2023. As they had considerable debt after the COVID-19 pandemic, Mike thought his best option was to close the bakery, but then took a chance. Believing he had nothing to lose, he applied. Just four days after submitting his application, he was contacted by the production company. He then called his father in Jamaica, and they discussed matters over Zoom with the producers, who liked the idea of the father-son enterprise.

A surreal happening

Mike described winning the competition as “surreal” in an interview with MyLondon. “I was just a guy making patties in a bakery in Peckham and selling them to anybody that wanted to buy, and now we are going to be on a supermarket shelf. It’s such a great accomplishment,” he said. In the months following the Zoom call, the father-and-son pair presented their product to the Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, Julie Ashfield. They then had to work on packaging and branding and decide how to expand the shelf life of the patties. Since October 2023, the duo has worked constantly to expand their operations and ensure the patties were ready. Mike said the workload tripled after their win because they were not positioned to make the necessary number of products.

Expanding Flake Bake

Mike joined with a large manufacturer and worked with food influencers on the expansion. He said they gained many followers and received many messages every day. The number of people coming to the bakery to purchase individual patties also increased considerably. Mike’s father, Paul, noted that he and his son have a great relationship. He told MyLondon, “The beauty is my son coming alongside me and making it a better business. I love what I do, I love baking, it’s a great product.” He added that he was very happy about the arrangement. “I am very proud of my son, without him, it couldn’t have happened.”

Aldi “fell in love”

Aldi’s Ashfield said the company couldn’t help but “fall in love with Paul and Mike” and added that their product “tastes beautiful.” She noted that the paid put a lot of care into making their patties and provided a patty with “unbelievable” pastry. “Every part of it is delicious,” she said, “I just love it!”

Photos – Flake Bake Patties