Craft bakery chain Ainsleys has been broken up and sold off to various buyers, with Country Style Foods acquiring the company’s central bakery and trading name, and Cooplands (Doncaster) and Coopland & Son (Scarborough) sharing most of the retail outlets.
The majority of the 285 jobs at the Leeds-based company, which went into administration in November, have been saved in the package of deals that also saw administrator Grant Thornton sell Ainsleys’ sandwich van business to AW Food Services.
Leeds-based in-store bakery and bake-off specialist Country Style Foods said it planned to develop Ainsleys’ 45,000sq ft bakery in Sheepscar and expand sales of Ainsleys-branded baked goods with specialist retailers and supermarkets. James Ainsley, general manager of Ainsleys, has joined Country Style, bringing experience of dealing with the multiple retailers from working at Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.
"Ainsleys is very close to us [in Leeds] and we are overflowing in our bakery. We want to use the company’s skilled workforce to develop the Ainsleys brand to a wider field and take it more mainstream," Country Style chairman Tony Wood told British Baker.
Country Style already operates five production sites in Leeds, Stockton, Grimsby, Peterlee and Flint producing speciality breads, pastries, desserts and confectionery.
As reported exclusively in British Baker last month, the majority of Ainsleys’ shops have been bought by Cooplands (Doncaster) and Coopland & Son (Scarborough). Each company has bought 10 stores and will rebrand them this month. Ainsleys’ remaining nine stores are expected to be sold off to various local buyers soon.
The deal takes Coopland of Scarborough’s retail estate to 93 stores. The stores bought by Cooplands (Doncaster), in and around Leeds city centre, have a turnover of over £2.6m and take the firm’s estate to 86 shops.