Business expansion

Finance is icing on the cake for family-run bakery

Nile’s Bakery is adding another location to its successful business, as it continues to thrive after 60 years.

Nile’s Bakery is a Cornish family business that has gone from humble beginnings to a string of successful outlets. Co-owner Chris Nile hopes the firm’s newest location will continue the success.

“Seven years ago, we opened one of our bakeries on a road leading out of St Austell,” he says. “It’s done really well, so when a new site came up on a road leading out the other side of town, we decided to go for it.”

Chris discussed his options with his financial adviser, which led to the business being introduced to us.

“Barclays were very interested in our plans, and our new Relationship Manager Mark Heller understood our business really well,” says Chris.

Chris was looking for funds to support the new development, which is being built on a site that was previously a car repair garage. Mark was able to secure the finances against another property the business owns. He’s also been able to add further value to the business.

“Mark is always educating us about fraud and cyber security,” says Chris. “Because he’s talked about it, we’re taking more precautions than we would otherwise have done.”

Location, location, location

One of the benefits of the new location is its position on a busy tourist route, which should mean a large volume of passing trade.

“It helps to put your brand in the limelight,” says Chris. “The recognition it generates will help all the other sites too.”

Six of the business’s eight locations are bakeries and cafes combined – including the two out-of-town sites – and Chris says diversification is important to the company.

“My grandfather started the business from the back of a kitchen,” says Chris. “He was a baker in the Navy, and he opened his first site in 1955. We’ve still got it now.

“Originally the business was just bread and cakes, but it’s diversified over the years. We added cafes to our shops in 1993, and we always have a combined cafe when we open in a new location now.”

The future

The number of Nile’s Bakery outlets is fast-approaching double figures, and the business already employs 65 people. The latest outlet alone will employ 12, many of them new additions. But what’s next?

“Much will hinge on the wider family”, Chris says. “The next generation is coming through, and the long-term future will depend to a certain extent on what they want to do with the business.

“We’re always keeping our eyes open for new opportunities though, and we’re looking to take the business forward,” he says.