Fast-growing bakery chain Cooplands has appointed former Morrisons marketing chief Belinda Youngs as CEO.

She takes charge of the Scarborough-headquartered chain as it continues to expand across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the north east. It has opened 29 sites in the past two years, most recently in Lincoln.

Youngs has held a string of senior roles in grocery retail, including senior trading manager at Sainsbury’s, chief marketing officer at Canadian food retailer Sobeys and corporate brand and marketing director at Morrisons. She also co-founded toy supplier All About the Doll.

Cooplands has grown rapidly following an £8.5m investment by BGF in 2017 and now operates 160 shops, 12 cafés and 35 sandwich vans. Its shops are typically located in shopping parades and high streets. It was founded in 1885 and, since 1985, has been led by managing director Paul Coopland who has grown the business from five shops through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions.

“Cooplands is a business with a rich heritage and culture, and with a significant opportunity to grow its shareholder value even further,” said Youngs. “I look forward to helping to build the brand, which focuses on producing quality products at great value, in formats and locations that continue to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s customers.”

Paul Coopland said Young’s combination of big brand retail experience and entrepreneurial mindset made her the ideal candidate to help grow Cooplands.

Cooplands has also appointed David Salkeld, executive vice president of Upfield (formerly the Unilever spreads operation) as non-executive chair.