Jobs safeguarded as bakery supplier secures the dough to fund pandemic recovery

A bakery business which supplies cakes to leading food retail and garden centre brands has secured a loan to fund its continued recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, a deal which safeguards 100 jobs.

Fatherson Bakery, based in Alcester, Worcestershire, received funding from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) delivered through BCRS Business Loans with a co-investment from BCRS to rebuild the business and ease pressures over rising ingredient costs.

Following the investment, Fatherson Bakery, which supplies cakes to retailers such as Co-op, Budgens and Spar along with garden centre groups including Dobbies, is embarking on the next phase of its growth plans, safeguarding 100 jobs in the process.

Fatherson Bakery had experienced cash flow challenges after successive Covid-19 lockdowns and the introduction of social distancing measures impacted supply chains and staffing levels. With rising cost price issues causing further impact, the company sought funds for recovery plans.

Laurence Smith, CEO at Fatherson Bakery, said: “We are delighted to have secured the funding we required to support our recovery and protect jobs after the pandemic, which would have been extremely challenging without backing from BCRS Business Loans. We had been unable to get help from high street funders while BCRS Business Loans supported us throughout the application process.

“We had challenges coming out of Covid, particularly with labour shortages and supply issues around ingredients, which meant the business needed investment. Finding support from traditional lenders proved too difficult but our bank directed us to BCRS Business Loans, which was a constructive step.

“It has been refreshing working with BCRS Business Loans, as they are always making sure they get all the information needed to assess our needs. We have had a positive dialogue throughout the process, which has been swift and allowed us to move forward quickly.

“The economic outlook remains challenging, but we are positive about our direction as the funding has allowed us to keep on top of everything. We have been able to work with our suppliers and have the headroom and breathing space needed.”

Angie Preece, business development manager at BCRS Business Loans, said: “Fatherson Bakeries has a strong reputation for producing high quality cakes and fruit pies which are sold by leading retailers so we were keen to support them as they recover from the challenges of Covid and rising ingredient prices.

“As a co-operative Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI), BCRS Business Loans is committed to supporting the growth and prosperity of as many businesses as we can across the West Midlands region.

“With an experienced leadership team and strong relationships with customers, we knew this funding would support further success. When other lenders cannot help, we believe no viable business should go unsupported, so we were pleased to help Fatherson Bakery at every step of the journey.”

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