Cooplands plans to open 30 stores a year after securing £7.7m investment

A BAKERY firm plans to open an extra 30 stores a year after gaining a £7.7m investment from a major growth capital investor.
Belinda YoungsBelinda Youngs
Belinda Youngs

BGF has made a further substantial investment in Cooplands, the Scarborough-headquartered bakery business, to help it expand.

Three years after BGF’s initial £8.5m investment, the business has grown to more than 165 stores, 12 cafes and 36 sandwich vans.

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Cooplands has opened seven new stores since March 2020 and plans to roll-out additional stores in locations including South Yorkshire, as well as expanding further in areas where it already has stores.

A BGF spokesman said: “BGF has supported Cooplands in building a strong leadership team to spearhead future growth. This news follows the appointment of Belinda Youngs as CEO in 2019.

"Belinda joined with more than two decades’ experience in the grocery retail sector in the UK and Canada with roles at Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.”

Ms Youngs said: “We’re ambitious about continuing to grow our business and this investment allows us to build on the strong progress we’ve already made.

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“This year we’ve continued to open stores, create jobs and develop new products. Just this month, we’ve opened a new shop in Lincoln which created eight new jobs for the city and launched a new cheese bake to meet consumer demand.”

In 2019, Cooplands became one of the first high street bakery chains to sell vegan bread and rolls.

Ms Youngs added: “Like most businesses, we’ve established new ways of working this year and we’ve also found areas for innovation, including the launch of our online ordering platform and Cooplands recipes and products which allow customers to recreate our most popular bakes at home.”

Earlier this year, Julie Turnbull was hired as CFO for the business, after holding FD roles at Omega Plc and Finsbury Food Group.

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David Salkeld was hired as non-executive chair in 2018. The Coopland family will remain important minority shareholders of the business, with Paul Coopland continuing to support the business in a non-executive capacity.

Barry Jackson, BGF investor added: “BGF is committed to backing the growth economy businesses that will help to drive economic recovery in every corner of the UK.

"Under Belinda’s leadership, Cooplands is a perfect example of a Yorkshire company which continues to strive for industry-leading innovation and quality which in turn, drives expansion and job creation across the region.”

Paul Coopland added: “Even for a 135-year-old business, trading through this year has been unlike any other.

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"The company’s resilience is testament to the quality of our products, the strength of our capable management team and the 1,650 brilliant people they lead to serve our customers in their own communities. As we move into 2021, I look forward to the company realising the next stage of its growth ambitions.”

The advisers for the transaction for BGF were Ward Hadaway, led by James Nightingale. Cooplands received advice from KPMG & Freeths LLP in connection with the deal.

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