One of the UK’s top family run bakeries who took over five shops in North East Wales have been hailed as “a major asset” to the area’s high streets.
All 50 of the staff were kept on by the Nantwich based bakery that’s celebrating its centenary this year.
The purchase of the shops took the number of the Chatwins outlets to 26 and meant a 20 per cent increase in the size of the company overnight.
Local AM Lesley Griffiths called in at the Chatwins shop and cafe on High Street in Wrexham to welcome the company to the town.
She chatted to the staff and Managing Director Edward Chatwin, a fourth generation member of the family firm established by his great grandfather John Chatwin in 1913.
Ms Griffiths, who is also the Minister for Local Government and Government Business, said: “I was delighted to be invited to meet Edward and the team and to see that the shop and cafe were buzzing with happy customers.
“Chatwins are not unlike the Village Bakery in the sense that they are a family-run bakery with extremely high standards and an excellent range of products.
“Having spoke to Edward, it is clear that Chatwins are going to be a major asset to our high streets.”
Among the members of staff who’ve transferred from the Village Bakery to Chatwins is Retail Manager Sharon Cooper.
She said: “Things have been going very well and it’s lovely to have the new range of cakes which complements the bread, the carvery and the sandwiches.
“It’s a busy time of year for us now. The festive season is coming so hopefully we’ll do really well with the Christmas Puddings and things like that which we haven’t done before.
“I think the shop looks brilliant and it’s very busy. We are blessed with really good staff – they’re so friendly, so bubbly.
“Edward has ensured we have been made very welcome as part of the team Chatwins.”
Edward Chatwin was extremely grateful that Lesley Griffiths had taken time out of her busy schedule to welcome Chatwins to Wrexham.
He added: “It’s been a hectic few weeks but it’s been very enjoyable and I must say the staff have been unbelievably supportive which has helped make the transition a very smooth one for everybody concerned.
“It’s been really lovely to finally meet the customers and talk to them and introduce them to our products – and the response has been incredibly positive.
“The customers can see the staff are happy in their work environment so they feel a lot more confident about coming into the shop, and there’s no doubt at all that the staff have been a key part in the success of the transition.
“I think the main difference between the Village Bakery and ourselves is probably on the cake and confectionary lines.
“The Village Bakery bought a lot of those items in but obviously we’re producing all of those ourselves.
“As a result, I think we’ve got a wider variety and again at this time of year we can introduce Christmas lines which I think in the past customers haven’t had.
“Taking over five shops in one go is probably the biggest thing that’s happened to Chatwins in a hundred years.
“We have expanded in the past, but they were by one or two shops at a time, so to actually take on five successful shops all in one go really is a big step for us and it marks our centenary in a fantastic way.”