Weston's Bakery in Sudbury, Suffolk

Source: Toast

Toast co-founder Rob Ely (third from right) with staff at Weston’s Bakery in Sudbury, Suffolk

Weston’s Bakery has agreed to a business takeover by a fellow Sudbury business just days after it announced its closure.

A post on the company’s Facebook page on 30 June had revealed the news that the next day of trading would be its last. The post, written by Liz Weston, noted that her parents and bakery owners Chris and Pat had been involved in a head-on crash with another motorist earlier that day.

Accompanied by a photo of a Weston’s Bakery van with the front section completely destroyed, Liz said her parents were “lucky to be alive” and had been taken to hospital by her paramedic sister Jo. The family bakery business had evidently been struggling for months, with the crash being the “final straw” in their continued fight for keeping the doors open.

The sudden closure meant all staff were set to lose their jobs and various wholesale customers lose their bakery supply. 

But, just four days after Weston’s had ceased operations, independent coffee chain Toast confirmed on the Sudbury Suffolk Noticeboard on Facebook that it had negotiated and agreed a deal to re-employ nine bakery staff and take control of the premises, opening on 5 July. “All we ask is for a little patience whilst we find our feet!” ended the post. Details of the Weston’s deal have not been disclosed.

Also known as Love Toast, the brand currently runs shops in Sudbury, Chelmsford, Braintree, and Witham, with a new opening in Colchester set for late summer this year. As well as hot and cold drinks, the outlets serve a menu including toasties, sandwiches, and freshly-baked cake slices, cupcakes, and brownies. 

Toast told British Baker on 6 July that there remained some ‘sticking points over the premises at the moment’ relating to the lease and landlord, which it hoped to get sorted soon. Regardless, it said its intent was to continue the tradition of Weston’s Bakery, baking fresh bread and sweet treats.

inside Weston's Bakery 2100x1400

Source: Toast

Toast director Rob Ely checks bread at Weston’s Bakery

“We’re incredibly humbled to be able to take on Weston’s Bakery and start a new chapter for the business,” said Love Toast Ltd director Rob Ely, who founded the company in 2019 with his friends Louis and Daniel.

“Toast has always had this ethic to support other independent businesses, so when we heard the news about Weston’s imminent closure, we had to step in and help. We contacted Chris and Pat Weston and worked out a plan to re-employ the staff and keep everything going, with the commitment to continue to serve the town and its community with a modern traditional artisan bakery,” Ely added.

Weston’s Bakery shared the Toast announcement on its own Facebook page, saying the deal “made a very difficult time that much easier” and expressed gratitude to Rob and his team for “taking on the challenge and continuing to serve our lovely customers” and retain its staff members.