Grant funding and innovation has helped a Pool-based baker to rise to the challenge of lockdown.

During lockdown, Baker Tom’s had concerns for their staff, customers and shops.

However, using a grant and creative solutions, the bakery has managed to keep the bread coming in.

In June 2019 the business received an Enterprise Small Grant from Community Led Local Development. It's an EU-funded programme helping to enhance the local economy using funds from Europe, including the European Regional Development Fund.

The main aim of this grant was to enable the bakery to buy equipment to speed up the baking and packing of bread.

No-one could have envisaged a global pandemic at the time and the vital support this funding would bring.

Kate Gough, from Baker Tom’s brand team said: “This grant funding has helped us keep valuable members of our team in jobs, as well as increasing our customer reach throughout the lockdown period.”

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Bakers Tom’s first endeavour centred around the bread van, visiting small communities that didn’t have a large shop selling bread.

This was closely followed by increasing the scope of the online shop, which sold 'bread boxes' to customers throughout Cornwall.

Both ventures turned out to be a success.

Adapting to a post-lockdown world has been crucial for the team, especially embracing online business.

Kate said: “We soon realised that many of our customers now prefer to shop online, or to pick up fresh bread, cakes, and pastries from our mobile van rather than venture to one of our shops. The demand for fresh bread delivered to your door, the very next day, has been tremendous.

“Baker Tom’s will continue to run the business as we have over the last few months, with the safety of our staff and customers being at the forefront of our minds.

"Our shops have procedures in place to support vulnerable customers. Our mobile van and provision of 'bread boxes' will continue, with the content changing fortnightly to offer something for everyone.”