After snapping up another bakery, Ugo Stores owner Arthur Harris has insisted Bakery Products, the business he acquired in April this year, is trading well.
Harris bought North- East baker Hobson Foods, which trades as Tindale & Stanton, for an undisclosed sum last week after the company fell into administration. Tindale & Stanton supplies bakery products to retailers, fish & chip shops and cafés, and has a wholesale division supplying supermarkets with branded pies and baked goods.
The acquisition has raised eyebrows amid speculation Bakery Products – formerly Woodhead Bakery, which Harris also rescued from administration – is struggling. It is understood rents had been paid late and the age of the company’s machinery prompted some to question its longevity.
Bakery Products, however, insisted the speculation was unfounded. The last quarter’s rent had been paid on time and management was now negotiating the rents so they were monthly rather than quarterly and waiting for landlords to sign the new leases, the company said.
“The Woodhead Bakery is trading exactly where we thought it would be, with wholesale sales growing strongly week-on-week,” a spokesman told The Grocer.
The company was currently searching for a senior key account manager to help Bakery Products push into foodservice, he added.
Harris acquired Bakery Products just two weeks before his supermarket chain Haldanes Stores collapsed into administration, affecting 23 stores and hundreds of jobs. Bakery Products now supplies own-label lines to Harris’ other supermarket chain Ugo, which opened its first store in February this year.
“We are more than happy with the way individual stores are trading and have 15 different lines, including frozen pies and confectionery, in 20 Ugo stores,” said the spokesman.
“All products are proving hugely popular. Our packs of rolls and white loaves are flying off shelves.”