Lockdown lifestyles help Blackpool pair flourish

Two Blackpool-based businesses have flourished during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown as the UK population takes on new hobbies.

Dog treat manufacturer Barking Bakery has seen a surge in demand for Christmas treats after more than 2.2 million puppies were purchased during lockdown.

The company's decorated cupcakes, cheesey biscuits, pupcorn and 'pawty’ cakes are available through retailers including Pets at Home, The Range, Booths and Ocado.

To cope with rising demand, founder Michelle Turnbull turned to Blackpool Unlimited’s Growth 4 Business (G4B) service where high growth business advisor Donna Taylor helped devise a strategy.

Michelle said: "Through Donna’s vast knowledge, experience and expertise in manufacturing, we were able to access various funding grants through Blackpool Council and other bodies. This has allowed us to purchase much needed equipment enabling the bakery to up production, improve drying time and employ another 4 members of staff."

A dramatic increase in spending on home improvements has also resulted high quality kitchen and appliances supplier Hibberd Distribution Ltd recording its highest sales ever for October, with November continuing the trend as the busiest month of the year.

To keep up with demand HDL, which operates from a 15,000 sq ft headquarters at Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, has taken a further 32,000 sq ft warehouse at Squires Gate Industrial Estate and has employed a further six staff in the last two months.

Lee Mairs, managing director said: "We are experiencing a big upturn in sales, driven in part by the general public that haven’t been able to travel this year and instead are spending their money on home improvements. As well as many new customers, we are taking on a range of new trade projects which all add to our growing business portfolio.

"It has been a frantic time for us, with all hands on deck to fulfil orders whilst coping with the extra pressures that social distancing has put on the business practice. Our staff in every department have been fantastic throughout this period, so we’d like to say a big thank you to them all for going the extra mile for our customers."

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