The Friary Mill bakery is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week.
First established at a small shop and bakery in Gasking Street, Plymouth, in 1988, the chain now has nine outlets. It also has a head office and factory shop in Cattedown, and owns Brimbles bakery in Stoke, and reportedly Britain’s oldest commercial bakery, the Jakas shop on the Barbican in Plymouth.
Currently employing 119 staff, the business has developed a reputation for fresh, handmade products using good quality West Country ingredients.
As its reputation developed, Friary Mill expanded to accommodate growing demand, relocating to Cattedown in 1999.
Speaking to the Plymouth Herald, founders Karen Milner and Philip Gardner said that alongside their retail shops, they introduced a retail delivery service to reach customers in remote locations.
The firm now operates three mobile units. Milner added: “Friary Mill is a well-established competitor within the local food-to-go market, and competes against multinational brands.
“Despite our growth, we remain as committed to our values as we did on day one.
She added: “We want to be seen as a pillar of the community, delivering the freshest pasties, cakes and savouries to the population of Plymouth.”
Friary Mill celebrated its quarter-century with an “anniversary draw” for customers in its shops yesterday.
On 31 August it will host a party for all employees at the heaven restaurant in Exeter Street.
“I’m so proud that Friary Mill has made it to this milestone,” said Milner in a statement. “Who’d have thought, after starting out as one small shop and bakery, we now have shops and bakeries across Plymouth?
“All of us at Friary Mill had the determination and belief that we could run a successful, family-based bakery.
“Although it has been hard work and has involved plenty of hours, the achievements are definitely worthwhile and we are proud to be the home of the great Devon pasty.”