As part of a national expansion programme, Leeds-based Bagel Nash hopes to open an extra 43 shops, up from the current total of seven, over the next three years.

Retail director Rob Bywell said the bagel company is set to open clusters of retail outlets in major cities across the north of England. "We have established ourselves in Leeds," Bywell told British Baker. "We are now looking to build a national brand and will start opening stores in Manchester, Liverpool, Hull and Huddersfield."

The first of its new branches is due to open at the Arndale Centre in Manchester in March.

Bagel Nash recently added muffins to its range of products. "These are doing very well," added Bywell. "We are also looking at introducing cakes and pastries."

The bagel firm offers Fairtrade teas and coffee and plans to introduce an organic coffee.

"People like to come to us because we offer something different," said Bywell. "As people are driven by the media and are becoming more health conscious, they like to see bagels and products made fresh in front of them."

Bagel Nash offers a variety of products for different tastes and budgets. Its bagels range in price from £1.25 to £3.20. The current bagel of the month contains duck and hoisin sauce.

"We are currently looking at developing a wheat-free bagel in our bakery in Meanwood [Leeds], to accommodate special dietary requirements," said Bywell.