CRAFT baker Birds of Derby has opened its 50th store, a trial of Birds’ Expresso unit.

The takeaway outlet is in Derby’s Eagle Centre, and carries 65 lines from Birds’ standard range of around 200. Products on sale include hot and cold drinks, sausage rolls, filled rolls and baguettes, Birds’ six best-selling cream cakes, muffins and cookies.

Retail operations manager Mike Holling said Birds already has two standalone Expresso stores, but this unit is an innovation as it is a single counter opening onto a shopping mall, with trading hours in line with the mall. “The format allows us to operate the unit self-sufficiently when our bakery is closed on a Sunday,” he said. “We have traditional values, but it is vital we keep developing our business.”

The Expresso format is likely to be rolled out, allowing the East Midlands-wide Birds chain to expand away from its core market into areas such as the Peak District, and Staffordshire, he said.

Birds won the Craft Business Award in British Baker’s Baking Industry Awards in 2005.