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Lancashire
Wednesday, July 24, 2024

AWARD FOR FAMILY BAKER THAT RISES TO THE LOCKDOWN CHALLENGE

A family baker in Lancashire has been named a Small Business of 2020 by Lloyds Bank after it stepped in to supply flour to local people after a home baking craze left supermarket shelves bare during lockdown.

Morris Quality Bakers Ltd in Coppull supplies its teacakes, barm cakes, fruit buns and more to schools, hospitals and shops across the north and the business was thriving, but when lockdown hit, it suddenly found itself with lots of surplus stock on its hands.

That was donated to hospitals and food banks in the region, along with Corona Kindness hubs run by Blackpool Council to support vulnerable people in the town.
And when a home baking craze swept the country leading to a shortage of flour on supermarket shelves, Morris Quality Bakers Ltd dipped into its 20 tonne silos of flour to make 2kg bags to sell to local people.

It set up a stall, made from a cleverly converted old van, outside the factory to sell its goods direct to the community while maintaining safe social distancing.
Now Morris Quality Bakers Ltd has been named a winner in the Lloyds Bank Small Business of 2020 awards, in recognition of how creatively and quickly it adapted to the challenges of 2020, going over and above expectations.

The prize was a business mentoring session with Reggae Reggae Sauce supremo Levi Roots, who shared advice from his journey to success, as well as suggesting some potential ideas for new products.

The Lloyds Bank Small Business of 2020 competition celebrates the small and local businesses across the UK and their inspiring energy and resilience in meeting the challenges of 2020. Almost 900 businesses up and down the country were nominated by their local communities and 24 winners were picked based on how creatively and quickly they adapted to lockdown restrictions.

Director Katie Locke said: “Last year was one of the most challenging years to date for the management team, “We’ve all been working flat out through lockdown, with Henry working 7 days most weeks but with many of our biggest customers closed, we wanted to help the community where we could.

“We’ve been working with local councils to see how we could support them, and we’re still selling flour and yeast too.”
The family business was founded in Coppull in 1912 and is now led by Henry Morris, grandson of the founder Walter Morris, along with his wife Christine and their daughters Kathryn, Helen and Beverley.
Today it has around 150 employees and in normal times its fleet of vans delivers to more than 3,000 locations across the north west.

Gareth Oakley, Managing Director of Business Banking at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Morris Quality Bakers Ltd has been part of village life in Coppull for more than a century.

“When schools closed, one of its main markets disappeared overnight, but the business was able to quickly pivot to sell its wares in new and different ways.
“This is a family business that’s embedded in its community. It’s providing a fantastic service for local people and is truly deserving of this award.”

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