Craft baker Chatwins has taken over four shops previously run by fellow Cheshire firm P&A Davies, which went into administration earlier this month.

Chatwins has rebranded the stores in Chester the city centre, Hoole and Blacon along with one in Ellesmere Port, and employed 28 of the staff who were made redundant. However, it decided not to take on the two other shops in Chester because sales were too low.

Chairman Edward Chatwin said it was an opportunity to further the chain’s presence in the Chester area. "This is an exciting development for Chatwins," he said. "Like ourselves, Davies of Chester is a well-known family bakery business dating back a century or more. Their custo-mers expect high-quality confectionery and savoury products and I’m sure they will welcome the Chatwins brand."

He said Chatwins planned to focus on bake-off and the lunchtime trade in the newly acquired stores. The deal fits with Chatwins’ growth across Cheshire and Staffordshire; it now boasts 23 retail outlets and three coffee lounges, supplied by its Nantwich bakery. "We are blessed with loyal and dedicated staff," said Chatwin. "I’m sure with their support and by utilising the spare capacity in our bakery we can make a success of this expansion."

Earlier this month, Frank Roberts and Sons announced that it had bought P&A Davies’ central bakery.

Administrator Baker Tilly Tax and Accounting said the two remaining stores were not being marketed and that it was up to the landlords who own the lease to decide what to do with them.

>>Roberts snaps up central bakery of P & A Davies