An ex-offender has opened a second branch of her Manchester artisan bakery, The Barker Baker.

As reported by the Manchester Evening News, Francesca Barker’s new bakery is located in Northern Quarter shopping emporium Afflecks. It opened just six months after her first site in Littleborough, Manchester, and sells a range of artisan breads, brownies and sandwiches.

Barker narrowly avoided prison over two years ago after being convicted of fraud and instead discovered a passion for bakery while on a probation course. She now tries to give others a second chance by employing a number of ex-convicts and runs bakery workshops and food education classes in partnership with probation services and women’s centres.

She is also laying down plans to take the business further by opening a café in Hare Hill House, Littleborough, which volunteers are turning into a community, arts and micro-business centre.

Barker said: “I love Afflecks and, as much as I love Littleborough, it’s great to have a totally different clientele. It’s a bit younger and it has challenged me to think outside the box a bit.

“Things are getting bigger and better every day and it just goes to show that just making bread whilst on probation can change your life.”