The North Yorkshire bakery has grown significantly since its founding in April 2019 by Gillian Ridgard and Cheryl Barrett.
Like many others in the industry though, when the pandemic hit, The Original Baker had to pivot quickly from selling to small retailers to selling online through a hamper supplier for the local area.
Rather than view this as a drawback, the duo used the opportunity to boost the bakery’s footprint, which now boasts a UK-wide customer base. The bakery also expanded its product range to include savoury as well as sweet baked goods. It has also taken on 22 new members of staff during the past year.
The capital from HSBC UK has enabled the North Yorkshire baker to lease a 6,500 sq ft facility to house packaging and ambient goods, as well as purchase new equipment for the increased production capacity.
The Original Baker’s pies, pastries, cakes and quiches are sold into delis, farm shops and independent food retailers across the UK, along with its online service.
Adapt and pivot
“The pandemic was a worrying time for small businesses, but we are pleased we were able to adapt to the conditions and move our business online quickly,” said Ridgard, MD of the Original Baker.
“We have seen huge growth in our customer base since doing so and, following the HSBC UK support, we have been able to invest in new premises alongside some new equipment, which has enabled us to further increase production and enter the world of confectionary.”
The funding was provided by HSBC UK, which serves around 15 million customers across the UK, along with a greater presence across the world through its parent company, HSBC Holdings. With assets of $2,976bn at 30 June 2021, the London-headquartered company is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.
“Like many businesses, The Original Baker had to adapt and pivot during the pandemic. The move has paid off and this funding will support the team in their continued push for growth, allowing them to provide the best possible service for their rapidly growing customer base,” added Matthew Joy, commercial manager at HSBC UK.