A Warwickshire bakery has increased its capacity and taken on 20 new staff after expanding its business.
Bruno’s Bakery opened in Studley in 1990 but reached its capacity some time ago and did not want to move away from its high street location.
When a former health centre building a few doors away became vacant, the family-run business decided it was the ideal location for expansion.
“The unit is eight times the size of our old premises and it has been a big renovation project to turn it into a state-of-the-art bakery and to keep the budget to an affordable level,” said Joe Knight, son of Bruno’s Bakery founders Brian and Joanne Knight.
A series of grants have supported the business’s expansion and helped the Knight family during the pandemic.
Following a referral from Jim Clark at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, the bakery received a £7,000 recovery grant from Warwickshire County Council to launch an e-commerce platform that allowed the business to start trading online during covid.
When the Knights decided they wanted to expand, Clark advised the business on successfully applying for a £18,590 Small Capital Grant from the county council to help enable the business to move into the new premises.
Clark also helped the bakery secure £30,000 from Stratford-on-Avon District Council towards buying six ovens.
“The help we have received from Jim has been incredible and it wouldn’t have been possible without his mentoring and expert advice,” said Knight, who explained that the family had invested nearly £500,000 in the expansion.
“The financial support from Stratford-on-Avon District Council and Warwickshire County Council has been invaluable and we couldn’t have opened this place to the level we have – and have added so many new employees – without it.”
The business has opened a restaurant as part of the expansion, and Knight said trade had been exceptional so far despite the tough economic climate.
Clark, who is an account manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, said the family had taken a bold decision to go ahead with their plans.
“The new bakery and restaurant are awesome and it is testament to their vision and drive,” he added. “The second generation of this family business are continuing to push forward to meet their growing needs and there is capacity to grow into commercial baking should they wish to in the future.”