Born from ambition
Brook Bakery was originally a retail shop in Shiregreen, Sheffield. It was purchased by John Emes at the age of 23 and he started trading from there on 4th July 1988. Beginning his career in retail John decided he would try his hand at baking, and so it began!
John quickly learned the trade and with the help of 1 baker made the bread and confectionary in the back of the retail shop. Word soon got around about the quality of the goods and other local businesses started buy them to sell in their own shops and businesses. With the increase in trade John’s parents, Jack and Eileen Emes, became involved in the baking and retailing while a van was purchased for John to deliver the fresh produce before employing a driver to grow the route.
The early years
Our first bakery
In 1990 the double garage behind the shop was extended and converted into a new bakery doubling production space. However, John had great plans for the business, and it was becoming impossible for him to concentrate on the expansion whilst still baking, delivering, and managing admin! At this point his sister Susan came on board and in 1992 it really became a family affair. As Susan came from an office background, she was ideally placed to take on that side of the business leaving John to progress the company.
Growth and progress
Moving to commercial premises
In 1994 SCC told John he was “mass manufacturing in a residential area” and gave him 6 weeks to cease trading wholesale or move to an industrial unit. Having worked so hard they pulled out all the stops and found an industrial unit 2 miles away on Julian Road in Wincobank, Sheffield. This was a massive move as the new premises were 8 times the size of the Hartley Brook Road Bakery.
Every penny was reinvested to make the move work and with help from the bank the adjoining building was bought in 1999 increasing capacity and creating a 4500 sq ft bakery and creating more local jobs. Production continued to rise with almost 200 wholesale customers and 3 retail stores working space in the bakery was becoming inadequate and shifts were created to best use the space. Whilst it was obvious the space was being used to its maximum the decision was made that to expand the business further much larger premises would be needed.
Expanding and development
Onwards and upwards
In 2005 the move was made to purchase an old ice cream factory 200 yards from the existing bakery. The factory was redeveloped in to a new 22,000 sq ft purpose-built bakery created with hard work from scratch. Every spare minute and every penny being re-invested into making the factory into a bakery to be proud of, the transformation was incredible. Business has regularly increased over the years even through some difficult times yet there are always improvements as the bakery progressed to achieve a SALSA accreditation every year since 2012, and has been a member of the CBA for over 20 years.
John and Susan are still involved in the day-to-day advancement of production and the business has been able to move forward trading with larger retailing, food service and wholesaling companies. The bakery now has the space and capacity to create and develop new or bespoke products with the help of its management team, experienced long-term staff and apprentices learning the trade. There have been many changes and challenges facing the company over the years, but it has progressed and responded to everyone with the passion for what they do and are always looking forward to the next chapter!
Your local bakery
Who we work with
Brook Bakery are specialist contract bakers working with some of the UK’s leading retailers, wholesalers, food service caterers and brands. Working closely with our commercial partners, we supply high quality baked goods suitable for a variety of different requirements.
We have been fortunate enough to work with and supply to some of the UK’s leading businesses and organisations. Working to such high standards has helped us to become one of the leading contract bakers delivering our exceptional produce nationwide.