Born and Bread: Jacksons the Bakers, Chesterfield

Each month we profile a family firm to see how the business has passed down through the generations. Here, Jacksons the Bakers, which started out by providing war-rationed bread

Initially selling only bread – which was severely limited by wartime rationing – Jacksons’ line-up has grown over the years to include confectionery, Bakewell tarts, gingerbread men and savoury products.

And the workforce has grown with it. Originally staffed by seven people in Hasland, Chesterfield, there are now 64 workers.

“And with new orders increasing by the week, there’s every chance we could be recruiting further in the near future,” says MD Trevor Jackson, whose great-uncle Cyril founded the business.

Trevor says his great-grandparents sold their house to enable Cyril, who was also president of the National Association of Master Bakers, to buy it.

As a five-year old boy Trevor remembers helping Cyril by putting the dough in the moulder and watching it prove. Then, at the age of six, Trevor had his own miniature bread basket and would make doorstep deliveries with Cyril and his father, Roy.

“They had a van and an estate car and they’d put two blocks of wood in the boot to form a shelf. The confectionery would go on the top, with the loaves underneath. I ‘d take the bread to the door and come back with the money for my dad to count,” he says.

Roy joined the business at the same time as Cyril, eventually taking the helm in 1977. Then in 1993, Trevor took over the company, and one of his first decisions was to buy an additional bakery in Brampton, Chesterfield, so the business could expand further.

In November 2008, new premises in Danesmoor were purchased, to the same ends. “We now serve a wide range of customers, including delicatessens, shops, local authorities and schools, within a 40-mile radius of our bakery,” says Trevor.

“We retain all our craft bakery values, and most of our products are still handmade.” Trevor adds that the firm was delighted to win a Baking Industry Award in 2008, as “it underlines just how successful the company is in holding on to these values”.

The company recently won contracts to supply decorated gingerbread men to Aldi stores in the south east; products for the Ministry of Defence, Prison Service and the NHS; as well as foodservice companies such as Taste Essential.

“Our gingerbread men are unique,” says Trevor. “They are all hand-finished, which is very unusual. Anyone can produce high-volume biscuits, but ours are special.”

1944: Cyril Jackson founds Jacksons the Bakers in response to the need for bread during the Second World War. The business initially has a staff of just seven.

1977: Roy Jackson takes over the business

1993: Trevor Jackson takes the helm

1994: Trevor buys an additional bakery, located in Brampton, Chesterfield

2008: New premises in Danesmoor, Chesterfield are purchased to expand the business. Jacksons now employs 64 workers and has recently won further contracts.

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