Meet the business woman who aims to turn Scarborough-based Cooplands into a bakery giant

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THE Scarborough-headquartered bakery business, Cooplands, has appointed Belinda Youngs as CEO, as it continues to expand with new sites across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the North East.

Ms Youngs has more than 20 years’ experience in the grocery retail sector.

The Scarborough-headquartered bakery business, Cooplands, has appointed Belinda Youngs as CEO.

The Scarborough-headquartered bakery business, Cooplands, has appointed Belinda Youngs as CEO.

She has previously held positions at Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Sobeys Inc, the second largest food retailer in Canada.

Alongside Ms Youngs, the business has also appointed David Salkeld as non-executive chair.

A spokesman said: “David brings invaluable experience from high-profile roles across the food industry, at businesses including Upfield, formerly Unilever spreads, the Ainsley Harriott Food Company and Wensleydale Dairy Products.”

Founded in 1885, the fourth-generation business has been led by managing director Paul Coopland since 1985.

Mr Coopland and his team have grown the business from five shops to 160 across the North with a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. It is now the UK’s third largest bakery chain.

In December 2017, BGF, which invests in growing businesses, invested £8.5m in Cooplands to support the business’s growth strategy and rollout of its shops across the north of England.

Since then, the business has opened 29 new trading sites – including shops in Harrogate and Wawne in Yorkshire as well as Shiremoor in Tyneside in the last month.

These new openings have taken the total number of sites to 160 shops, 12 cafes and 35 sandwich vans.

Cooplands retail outlets are typically located in shopping parades and high streets across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the North East.

Ms Youngs said: “Cooplands is a business with a rich heritage and culture, and with a significant opportunity to grow its shareholder value even further.

“I look forward to helping to build the brand, which focuses on producing quality products at great value, in formats and locations that continue to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s customers.”

Barry Jackson, an investor at BGF, added: “Nearly two years on from our initial investment, Cooplands is going from strength to strength. Belinda’s appointment is the next step on that exciting growth journey.”