A 55-year-old Colne bakery has been saved from closure after being bought in the final hour.
Whitesides, a well-known family bakery, was due to close its doors for the final time on September 30th to the disappointment of its loyal, local customer base.
Now, the Keighley Road business has been afforded a new lease of life, with staff and customers assured that it is very much ‘business as usual’, by new owners, brothers Dean and Ted Cockett.
Dean himself has fond memories of the brand, having gone to Park High School in his youth and he visited the shop regularly at lunchtimes.
He said: “I was delighted to find out that 'Whitey's Whopper' and 'Torpedo & Gravy in a tray' are still available, as these are what I used to buy religiously when I was a teenager.”
Ted, Haffners’ managing director, said: “We’re delighted to have saved a local business which has been a staple of the Pendle community for over half a century.
“Whitesides displays all of the family values which are important to us and we feel extremely honoured to be adding it to our growing portfolio.”
It’s been quite a whirlwind year for the two brothers. Within 18 months they have purchased the Burnley staple, Haffners pies and butchers, the Colne based Pasture Farm Foods, with the online brands of justmeats.co.uk, meat2u.net and now added the well-known Whitesides Bakery to the list.
All the businesses now sit within the A & A Food Group, established by Dean Cockett; and are to be led by Managing Director, Ted Cockett, and Operations Director, Neil Wood.
Within their short time at the helm of Haffners, another family business, established in 1889, they have supplied special pies for the movie premiere of the Bank of Dave, won three industry awards and secured a spot in Burnley Football Club’s FanZone to sell their award-winning pies.
The pies even got a thumbs up from NFL legend JJ Watt and his US soccer star wife Kealia, who recently invested in Burnley Football Club and attended the team’s first game of the season against Manchester City.
Ted said: “In July, we bought Pasture Farm Foods, another popular Colne brand with a busy walk-in shop, online trading platform and wholesale trade market.
“Over the last few months, we have been working hard to harmonise the two businesses and are delighted to have brought Whitesides on board.
“Sadly, as the shop’s pending closure had already been announced to the team, some members of the team have already secured new jobs. The good news is that we have vacancies to fill and have already welcomed some great staff on board.”
Siblings Glen Whiteside and Nicola Laycock took over the running of the business from parents John and Diane Whiteside in 2010.
Glen said: “It was a sad day when we decided to close the business, which has been in our family since before we were born, so to know that it will live on under the Whitesides name, is extremely heartening.
“We have grown up in the business and know the names of most of our customers. We are confident that Dean and Ted will look after the business well and wish them all the best for the future.
“We’d like to thank all our customers for their loyal support over the past 55 years and look forward to seeing the business prosper under new ownership."