“30 years of Marshfield Bakery” by Founder, Paul White……
So what do you do when you are suddenly (and without warning), made redundant?
This is what happened to Paul White in 1983. He explored all the usual channels to get a new job but to no avail. Eventually his wife Lynne came to the rescue through her skills as an expert baker and cook!! Paul takes up the story.....
Lynne’s first batch of cakes (Flapjacks, Shortbreads, Coconut tarts etc) were produced on 31st January 1984 from our small kitchen in 6 High Street and delivered to Artingstalls,and to the newly formed WI Market (which Lynne helped set up). They sold well and it was decided that we should look at selling in Bath. At the time there were nearly 20 small food shops and Delis in and around Bath, plus the world renowned Jolly’s Foodhall. We sold everything in a counter-top wicker basket on a “sale or return” basis, but nothing was ever returned. This gave us the confidence to grow. With two young children (Ben (4), Becky (3)), and working from 6am till 2am the following morning to get the orders out, it was obvious something “had to give”! Very soon we had25kg bags of sugar piled up on the stairs and bags of flour in the dining room. Luckily we were told about West end Farm coming on the market and we moved there in May 1986.
Over the next two decades outbuildings were converted, local staff employed and various bits of machinery purchased. We always knew of the potential for growth in the business and Ben joined us in 2004. In November 2006, through more good fortune, we moved to Tolldown on the A46. Logistically it is an ideal position. The new bakery was officially opened by HRHDuchess of Cornwall in early 2008 and we opened a small shop later that year.
Today many of the original recipes still remain and we currently produce in excess of 100 different product lines.
This year we won the prestigious “Made in the South West Apprenticeship Award”, beating very large concerns like BAE Systems, for our work with Youth unemployment and giving apprenticeships. We are very proud of that! We were also shortlisted for 2 other awards.
Lynne and I are gradually “retiring” to allow Ben and our fellow Director, Chris Smith, and their team of 45 employees, to take the business to the next stage of its growth. Business is very buoyant and the outlook very bright indeed, not least for employment prospects.
We would like to say a very special “Thank You” to all the people and shops in Marshfield area for supporting us over the past 30 years, not least to our wonderful staff who have shown loyalty and commitment to our way of doing things. The business would not be in the position it is today without all the wonderful people of the best village in England!!
During 2014, look out for special Birthday events and promotions from us!
For a further trip down memory lane, check out…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3um50m7I3SY