With major chains such as Greggs regularly stating growth plans of their estates, its encouraging for the baking sector to see several smaller businesses also announcing brick & mortar expansions in recent weeks.
From an international brand unveiling its fourth London outlet to a family-run firm setting up its first shop, here is a round-up of new bakery openings in the UK:
The Bake House, Clitheroe, Lancashire
Handmade dessert specialist Studio Bakery opened its first shop last week, which aims to become a hotspot for local workers on a lunch break or “simply those who want to enjoy a sweet and decadent treat”.
Located next to its production site at an industrial park on the outskirts of Clitheroe, it will sell a selection of takeaway sandwiches, pasties, cakes, cookies and traybakes, as well as hot and cold drinks.
The family-run business was founded in 2017 by Allison Metcalf, a 20-year veteran of the food industry, out of a garden ‘studio’ bakery. It expanded to a manufacturing site in July last year, and currently employs a total of 40 people. Its sweet products are supplied to Waitrose and Booths including best-selling lines such as Scrumdiddlyumptious Tiffin, Chocolate Fudge Brownies, and Rocky Dodgers.
Sweet-toothed customers of the new shop can enjoy a cake ‘pick and mix’, which allows them to fill up a jar up of their favourite bakes like millionaire’s shortbread, rocky road, and flapjacks. There are also doughnuts loaded with toppings including Oreos and Biscoff.
Studio Bakery strives to be as eco-friendly as possible with all packaging being recyclable, only eco-accredited chemicals used for cleaning, fruit obtained from its 14-acre orchard, and bread, meat, milk, and cream bought from local suppliers.
Corner Bakery, Magherafelt, County Londonderry
One of Northern Ireland’s longest established bakeries, Corner Bakery, opened its second outlet in May at a 600sq ft corner site on Broad Street in Magherafelt.
With seating space for 24 diners, its deli counter offers an extensive in-store and takeaway menu created using freshly-baked and locally sourced produce.
“We are delighted to open our second location in Magherafelt, a thriving town that attracts a strong footfall from across Mid-Ulster,” said Corner Bakery owner Martin Booth, who acquired the 70-year-old business 11 months ago.
“The response has been incredible and we are queued out the door most days. We have recruited the most incredible team who have all received full training and they are already at the heart of the operation,” added Booth, noting that 14 new jobs had been created.
The business is looking to almost double its production of sausage rolls to 900,000 units by the end of the year. Booth said that, while “staying true to our heritage”, a new business development and marketing strategy has seen it bring the bakery online, invest heavily in social media and sponsor high profile events.
“It is an exciting time for us and the opening of Corner Bakery Magherafelt is part of an ambitious growth strategy, which will include new locations and new products in the months and years ahead,” he concluded.
Mini Magpies, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
Two Magpies Bakery continues its expansion plans with the opening of its third Mini Magpies site last month in the seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea.
From its quay front location, the small-format outlet serves products including the bakery’s bestselling sourdough bread and hand-laminated pastries. Predominantly aimed at takeaway customers, it also includes seating for up to 20 covers.
Two Magpies celebrated its tenth anniversary in April, with its estate now totalling nine outlets and cafes across Norfolk and Suffolk, as well as a production facility in Halesworth, and a central bakery and bakeschool in Darsham.
“We are excited to be opening our doors in Wells, just in time for the summer trade,” said Two Magpies operations director Yasmin Wyatt. “We have developed a strong identity in towns and villages across East Anglia and can’t wait to be part of this bustling coastal town.”
Along with the new opening, the company has also just launched its letterbox brownies with flavour options including white chocolate and cherry, caramel and honeycomb, banoffee, and caramelised peanut butter. Serving around eight people and priced at £22 per box (650g), they are available via nationwide delivery online or via supper clubs.
Aux Merveilleux de Fred, St. Pancras International, London
French pâtisserie chain Aux Merveilleux de Fred has opened its fourth bakery outlet in London inside St Pancras International.
All products will be baked fresh on site throughout the day – said to be a first for the train station. Customers can sample various flavours and sizes of ‘The Merveilleux’, the signature meringue and cream cake which pastry chef Frédéric Vaucamp created as an extremely lightweight reimagining of a classic recipe. Soft brioche and traditional waffles are among the other offerings.
Vaucamp, who began perfecting the art of pastry at just 14, founded the bakery in Lille in 1997. It has since grown to operate 53 branches worldwide, including in France, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, the US, Canada, Japan, and the UAE.
Levens Bakery, Levens, Cumbria
A new self-contained bakery is being launched at popular Lake District tourist attraction Levens Hall and Gardens near Kendall in Cumbria. It aims to increase production capacity of cakes, pastries and bread and take the pressure off the site’s eatery, Levens Kitchen, helmed by head chef Robert Stacey.
Demand for bakery items had ‘gone through the roof’ since Stacey and his pastry chef Mireia Ferreres Luna appeared on TV show ‘Bake Off: The Professionals’ in 2022. Two new pastry chefs will join the culinary team with construction of the new bakery expected to be completed by the end of this month.
The bakery is housed in what used to be a 1960s lean-to structure, and formerly the home of a Fowler Showman’s engine (steam locomotive) called Bertha.
Levens Hall is famous for its topiary garden first created by King James II’s French gardener Guillaume Beaumont, who was also the designer of the grounds at Hampton Court.