Craft bakeries have been busy over the summer setting up new sites in areas including east Scotland, north Wales and across England.
There have been some first forays into retail, including a pop-up shop inside a Manchester warehouse and a converted horsebox at a dog training centre in St Helens. Meanwhile, more established bakery brands are expanding their estates with new sites opened up in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Flintshire, and East Lothian.
Allan’s Bakery, Tranent
Allan Shaw took over his father’s Edinburgh bakery in 2015 and brought his brother Chris onboard last year to ensure the growing business stayed with the family. The firm has now branched out with a second shop a few miles down the A1 in Tranent town.
Allan’s range of savoury baked goods such as pies, pasties, and rolls, and sweet treats like cakes, buns, doughnuts, and biscuits, will continue to be produced at the original site and transported daily to the new takeaway-only outlet. Bestsellers include Scottish morning rolls, doner kebab pies, toffee cake, and vanilla slices.
The company, which says it caters to people who want simple, fresh, tasty home-baked products, currently employs four staff at each of its shops and is looking to recruit another baker in the near future.
Clwyd Bakeries, Ewloe
Established in 2006, this bakery chain has seen significant expansion in the past three years, with retail outlets in Talacre, Prestatyn, Rhyl and Chester. It’s latest shop, in Ewloe, opened just over a week ago.
The location stocks the brand’s full range of sweet bakery items, such as muffins and brownies, and its signature vanilla custard slices (known for their size as much as their taste). It also sells bread, pies, pasties, and freshly-made sandwiches.
Products are made at Clwyd’s central bakery, which was opened last year and has since helped support the company’s growth. Its workforce now stands at 31 across all sites, with additional bakers and service staff to be recruited as Clwyd eyes more community-based retail opportunities.
Half Dozen Other, Manchester
Retired rugby league players Jon Wilkin and Mark Flanagan founded upmarket Manchester café brand Pot Kettle Black in 2014, adding ‘little sister’ company Half Dozen Other three years later to supply its outlets with bakery products.
Having picked up wholesale contracts to supply pastries and artisan sourdough bread to more than 30 local restaurants and cafes, the bakehouse has now launched a pop-up shop at its production site in a warehouse unit in the Cheetham Hill industrial area of central Manchester. Items available include Popcorn Croissant (pictured), Peanut Butter & Jelly Croissant, Cheese & Jalapeño Baguette, Strawberries & Cream Danish, and Cretzel (pretzel-croissant hybrid).
Half Dozen Other is looking to attract enough customers from local residences and businesses to allow it to extend its weekly opening schedule past Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and to install seating. It is also looking to expand its team of 15 with new sourdough bakers, pastry chefs, and delivery drivers.
Petite Paris, St Helens
The dream project of St Helens resident Joey Dawber has become a reality, with his baker sister recruited to head up production. Petite Paris’ small range of baked goods and beverages is being served out of a converted horsebox parked inside a busy dog training centre at Catchdale Moss Farm.
Products include Biscoff Cheesecake-stuffed Croissants and Salt & Pepper Sausage Rolls (pictured) as well as Chocolate Orange Millionaire Shortbread, Lemon Muffins, and Oreo Brownies. Customers enjoy the bakery delights while watching their pooches playing in the field, and treat them to a Puppuccino.
Dawber said the company’s short-term goals are to grow sales via social media and online orders, and also develop a catering service for parties and events.
The Secret Bakery, Harrogate
Owners James and Jane Spencer took over the business in 2020, and have since expanded operations to cover its main bakery café plus two additional outlets. Its latest café, located inside Harrogate Railway Station, will offer artisan breads including sourdough and focaccia, and sandwiches filled with the likes of pastrami, pesto chicken, or bacon, brie & chutney.
The site is a former café that closed earlier this year, and 22 covers have been refurbished to a high standard to allow shoppers, local residents, and travellers a place to sit and savour baked goods and drinks.
The Sweet House Bakery, Nottingham
From its beginning in Steffanie Woodhouse’s home during lockdown, The Sweet House has grown to operate two shops and a bakery kitchen. It aims to “curate affordable luxury with high-end ingredients that can be enjoyed by everyone”.
The business’ newest location in the east Nottingham suburb of Colwick offers a range of takeaway-only sweet treats such as cookies, brownies, millionaire slices, rocky roads, cookie pies, cheesecakes, and filled croissants. Its most popular menu item is its cookie sandwiches (pictured).
The Sweet House currently has three staff members but plans to recruit two more full-timers with the hopes of opening a third store early next year and a fourth around August 2024.