Robinsons Artisan Family Bakery

Source: Robinsons Artisan Family Bakery

The family behind Robinsons Artisan Family Bakery near Manchester has put the 159-year-old business up for sale – a move which would herald the end of six generations of ownership.

Having first been established in Harpurhey in 1864 before relocating to its current site in the Oldham borough of Failsworth in 1954, Robinsons is said to be the oldest family-run bakery in the Greater Manchester area.

Robinsons Bakery's Manchester Tarts

Source: Robinsons Artisan Family Bakery

Manchester Tarts

Bestsellers among its product range include Manchester Tarts – which feature pastry cases filled with raspberry jam and a thick layer of custard, topped with desiccated coconut and a glacé cherry – as well as Oven Bottom Muffins. Meanwhile, sourdough loaves and Manchester cobs are said to be its most popular breads.

The business has a turnover of £600,000 and currently employs 18 staff including Robinson family members. Its premises covers a total of 235 square metres over two floors, with the front-facing quarter of the downstairs area housing its shop and the remaining space used for bakery production.

Owner David Robinson is looking to retire after 53 years of baking at the Failsworth site. Meanwhile his youngest daughter Grace, who manages daily operations, has been presented with a career opportunity she can’t refuse.

“Obviously it has been an extremely difficult decision for many reasons,” Grace told British Baker. “However, for me personally it is the right one as I have been offered an opportunity in my life that I don’t want to miss.

“My dad is going to be 70 next year and he still works full time with us here at the bakery – and all bakers know that it’s not an easy job. The time has come for him and my mum to retire, finally,” she added.

David Robinson and daughter Grace prepare dough for baking  911x681

Source: Robinsons Artisan Family Bakery

David Robinson and daughter Grace prepare dough for baking

The freehold for Robinsons Artisan Family Bakery is priced at £579,950+SAV on the Sovereign Business Transfer website. The listing claims there is “plenty of scope to develop the thriving business even further” by extending the opening hours and implementing a new online presence with an ordering system.

“This combined with a marketing campaign could really drive the business forward by emphasising the longevity and quality of this going concern,” it said, adding that the proposition would ideally suit an owner/operating team who could push the business forward and build on the impressive and solid trading foundations.

Posts on Robinsons’ Facebook and Instagram channels notified the public about the sale on 22 July. “We have been here for so long, the response to the news has been a little overwhelming,” revealed Grace. However, she said they were aiming to find the right person to take over the business, with the hope it would continue to be a hub for local people in the area.

In a recent study, Manchester was found to have the largest increase of new bakery openings out of major cities in the UK, adding 342 shops in the five years since 2017. The majority of these bakeries were independently-run SMEs.