Renewed supermarket worries for Woolbrook bakery


- Credit: Archant

Staff at a Woolbrook bakery hope their products continue to set them apart as a nearby supermarket sets up ovens in-store.

Lidl’s expansion into fresh bread and cakes this week risks undercutting Upper Crust, but the head baker said customers will recognise the difference in quality.

The supermarket faced 14 letters of objection and a petition of 480 signatures against it before it opened in 1997, and district council officers said it could ‘threaten the vitality and viability’ of the town centre.

Head baker David Harris said: “It’s unfortunate that Lidl are opening a bakery on our doorstep, but the personal service and fresh bread we offer stand above the rest.

“We know our customers appreciate the difference in quality between supermarket bread and traditionally baked products we offer and hope they continue to support us.”

Butcher Stewart Hayman closed the Woolbrook branch of his shop after nine years as the recession took hold in 2012.

“I would be concerned if I were them, it wasn’t viable for us to stay there,” he said.

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“Supermarkets are putting a lot of pressure on small businesses.”

He said the situation was not helped by governments allowing free out of town parking when shoppers face charges and fines if they park in town centres.

Town councillor Ann Liverton said the move did not constitute a change of use in planning terms so Lidl was free to make the change.

“It’s another way supermarkets are selling everything – it’s concerning but I think the bakery is good enough to survive,” she said.

Lidl did not provide a comment.

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