The worlds oldest Cornish pasty maker Warrens Bakery closes 22 stores – Plymouth Live

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Warrens Bakery has closed a total of 22 stores across the westcountry, it has confirmed.

The company, which prides itself on being the world’s oldest pasty maker, announced last month that a number of stores would be closing. It added at the time that its factory in St Just is no longer viable. Staff at that site remain under consultation.

Today a spokesperson confirmed that the Bodmin branch, which closed on Thursday, is the only store in Cornwall affected. A further 21 stores in other counties have also closed.

A spokesperson for Warrens Bakery said: “We did close a number of loss-making shops last week, 44 company-managed sites remain open.

“We have placed approximately 25% of retail teams put at risk back into long-term internal jobs within available vacancies in other stores.

“Further news about the St Just bakery proposal will be available 19 December.

“Based on our proposal, Warrens Bakery would continue to employ nearly 350 staff across the South West.”

Community spirit

Meanwhile just under £800 has been raised for people who work at the St Just factory.

A JustGiving page fundraising website page set up to raise funds for the staff says that workers are due to lose their jobs the week before Christmas.

Staff are facing redundancy just before Christmas
(Image: Elliot White)

Closures due to “Brexit uncertainty”

In a statement released last month Warrens blamed uncertainty generated by Brexit as the main cause of its diffiuclties.

It said: “In reaction to continued Brexit uncertainty and its ongoing consumer impact, we have taken the extremely hard decision to propose a restructure of the business.

“With sadness and a heavy heart, we are consulting with staff and examining streamlining options, which could lead to a significant loss of jobs throughout the westcountry.

“With its configuration and remote location, our St Just manufacturing site, occupied since the 1970s, is no longer economically viable based on market influences. We are also consulting on the closure of a number of loss-making shops to safeguard the future of the wider business.”

The statement added: “By streamlining our portfolio, we will target the profitable segments of our business in food2go and café.

“Our increased focus will be in areas where we have seen continued success, including hospitals, travel hubs, strategically selected high street and destination sites.

“We remain committed to profitable manufacturing and will retain our site at Callington, while we will examine a variety of options to support our growth as a brand nationally, including in major airports.”

Warrens claims to be the oldest pasty maker in the world
(Image: Elliot White)

Warrens says its “1860 heritage product”, the Cornish pasty, will remain its signature item. However, it will expand its range further to “drive greater consumer interest in a changing world”.

The statement concluded: “We would like to thank our loyal staff and customers wholeheartedly for their continued support. We have been part of the West Country community for 160 years and, by implementing these proposed changes, we aim to serve the local economy for many years to come.”

In recent years Warrens has become the largest chain of bakeries in the South West with 50 shops in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

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