A Fatherson Bakery branded van outside of its factory in Alcester

Source: Fatherson Bakery

Fatherson Bakery is entering into a voluntary liquidation process after battling rising costs and many months of “significant” missed payments by a large retailer.

The decision was first announced on Facebook earlier this month (15 May) as the Alcester-based business stated that “after 15 years Fatherson Bakery has gone into liquidation today and has closed its oven doors for the last time”.

Retailers affected by the announcement claimed there was no warning and the only notification was the social media post, although there had been availability issues of late.

The firm’s products are stocked in Co-op, Budgens, Morrisons, Nisa, Londis, and Spar stores, alongside hundreds of independent garden centres, farm shops, and food halls.

“The huge ingredients, transportation cost and utilities rises and significant non payments over many months by a large scale retailer have led to circumstances where with great regret we have been forced into a voluntary liquidation process,” the business told British Baker.

“We would like to thank all of our customers for their business over many years and our hard working staff for their support producing our wonderful products. We wish them all well for the future.”

Founded by two fathers and two sons, the Alcester-based bakery has been in operation since 2007. It produced a wide range of traditional sweet treats including whole cakes, traybakes, cupcakes, loaf cakes, and pies. It was also keen to tap into added value occasions, with limited-edition seasonal ranges rolled out for Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day.

According to financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2021, posted to Companies House, the business had 100 employees.

In 2019 Fatherson Bakery was bought by former Unilever marketing chief Laurence Smith, his wife Megan and business partner Mark Lewis. In an interview with British Baker at the time, Smith said he was determined to stay true to the bakery’s core values, with the products remaining handmade and decorated. However, a rebrand was unveiled alongside NPD including gluten-free products under the new management.

Exports were also a priority with longer life products delivered to Spain, Ireland, and the US. The Middle East was also seen as a growth opportunity.

This story was originally published on 18 May and updated on 22 May.