Wolverhampton bakery chain Robinson’s has opened its fourth store, in Chapel Ash. Owned by Valencia Fine Foods, it is operating out of former Firkins Bakery sites.The Chapel Ash shop, two miles from Wolverhampton’s city centre, is the fourth Robinson’s shop to open in 14 months. At least five permanent posts are being created with the launch of the site, with “the potential for many more” part-time positions.Robinson’s was taken over by M Firkin Ltd in 1982 and the name gradually disappeared from the high street as it became part of Firkins. That firm went into liquidation in April 2015, but a package of shops and assets were bought by another family-run Black Country firm, Valencia Fine Foods Ltd. They re-opened three shops last year, re-employing many of the original staff.Rob Green, operations manager, told British Baker: “Following the final demise of Firkins Bakery (formerly trading as Newbridge Bakery Ltd) under the stewardship of Oliver Adams Bakery, we acquired assets and leases to three shops to form a new West Midlands-based bakery chain.“Our first shop was originally a Robinson’s store, so we felt it was fitting that rather than reboot Firkins we would revert to Robinson’s, and our West Bromwich shop opened in May 2015, followed by Oldbury in August 2015 and Merryhill-Penn in September 2015.”He added that Robinson’s collection of Italian desserts alongside traditional bakery cakes, breads, sandwiches and savouries, and Black Country favourites such as hot pork cobs and faggots & peas “has been well received”.
Tewkesbury-based Drapers Bakery has been ordered to pay £5,500 in costs and damages following persistent misuse of Bakers Basco bread baskets.An injunction hearing at Bristol County Court heard the bakery had been caught on a number of occasions in the past using another company’s equipment without permission, and had made historical payments to Bakers Basco totalling more than £3,000 in damages.Drapers director Stephen Jenkins agreed to enter into a court order – a formal undertaking not to repeat the offence – for an indefinite term and pay costs and damages.Judge Barry Cotter QC explained to Jenkins that failing to keep his promise would constitute contempt of court and would trigger sanctions that could include being fined, having assets seized or even a prison sentence.Steve Millward, general manager of Bakers Basco, which manages and licenses bread baskets and wheeled trollies for the use of bakers, said the company was “sick and tired of a small minority who think it’s acceptable to use other people’s equipment without their permission”.“Taking our bread baskets and dollies without permission means other people have to foot the bill because it means extra costs for the baker which have to be passed on to the retailer and, ultimately, the consumer,” he added.Draper’s Jenkins told British Baker: “I think bakeries, especially small ones, need to be extremely careful. We certainly won’t be doing it again. I could have ended up in prison. For £5,500 you can buy a lot of trays.”British Baker exclusively spoke with Steve Millward in April 2017 following a number of bread basket misuse incidents over the past year.