Parsons Bakery has said it could be transforming a pop-up bakery site into a more permanent fixture, following its success over the last two months.
The Bristol-based BB75 retailer revealed the temporary site on West Street in Bedminster, which opened on 15 December, has been trading at a profit and the company is looking to continue operating the shop at the premises, which it took over for a three-month rent-free trial period.
The fourth-generation family-run firm, which operates 34 retail stores in south-west England and Wales, was approached by a community regeneration group called Way Out West to open up the pop-up site.
Nick Parsons, managing director of Parsons Bakery, told British Baker: “The group surveyed the surrounding residents to see which stores they valued the most and would like to see reopen on their high street, and a local bakery came in at the top of their list. So the community group asked any local landlords who had empty properties if they would be interested in letting a pop-up shop.”
He added that the company could not justify spending its normal new store refurbishment costs of £70,000, but set a £5,000 budget to transform the 250sq ft shop.
Parsons explained: “The store has a limited product range which features all of the normal bakery classics, such as bread, sandwiches, cakes, pastries and savouries, but has just a few options in each category so we can offer all our ‘best sellers’ and also minimise any waste. We were clear and honest from the outset that this pop-up had to generate a profit and was not a charity cause.
“We have been delighted with the results. The store trades profitably and above our initial expectations, and we are exploring all options for continuing at the site after the three-month period runs out. The local residents love having a baker back on their street and have been very supportive – at the end of the day if they use it, it will stay trading.”
He said the area in which the Parsons Bakery pop-up shop is situated has benefited from visits by retail guru Mary Portas in recent months, resulting in a wave of local media interest, and the company is now considering opening further pop-up sites in the future.
Last February, Parsons Bakery benefited from a £30,000 financial boost, awarded to the company by the Regional Growth Fund, to help open up new shops and create new jobs.