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"Overwhelming support" as award-winning Lancaster bakery announces shock closure

Filbert's Bakery in Lancaster

An award-winning Lancaster bakery has received "overwhelming support" after announcing its closure.

Filbert's Bakery on King Street in the city centre will close, effective immediately, it was announced on Wednesday.

A post on the bakery Facebook page said:

"It is with heavy hearts that we have to tell you that we are closing the bakery, effective immediately.

"We have worked really hard to avoid this, and the team especially should be immensely proud of all they have achieved.

"The decision has been taken out of our hands by the rising costs and drop in sales that many small businesses are facing.

"We are all shocked and distraught that it has come to this, so please be patient while we deal with the immediate work.

"Thank you all for your support over the last 11 years, we love you very much.

"We’ll give you more information soon."

There was a massive outpouring of support from the bakery's social media followers, following the announcement.

One said: "Best proper bakery ever... unfortunately I'm not local to Lancaster, but I always visited and stocked up whenever I was around... loved your breads, sweet treats, and savory goods... everything was fantastic and can't be compared to supermarket so called 'breads'... as it shows from the lovely comments, it will be a huge loss to the community... I would be queuing up for bread daily if I lived in Lancaster."

Another wrote: "This is so sad - our favourite bakery. We try to come every week, but know how tough things are for businesses at the moment. We will miss you, but wish you all the luck in the world for whatever the future holds."

Another comment was: "Oh no this is devastating! So sorry for all of you and so grateful for all the amazing bread and other goodies we have enjoyed from you. If there is anything we can do please let us know, I really hope we can find a way to keep Filbert's alive."

In response to all the messages of support, the bakery posted:

"Thanks so much for the overwhelming support everyone! I know this is a shock and a great loss for all of us, and I really do appreciate all the offers of help. I'll be posting a more detailed reply soon which will speak to many of your questions. 

"Please know that the decision has not been taken lightly. Love you all!"

In a further post on Thursday, the bakery elaborated on the reasons for the closure.

"To close, is the hardest decision we’ve ever made. And as all things that are so deeply rooted in purpose and identity, is nuanced and complex.

"There is no one thing, it’s a bit of everything. It’s Covid, Brexit, the global economy. It’s mental health, and family, and timing. It’s self care, and location, and nothing-left.

"Operating a small business over the last 10 years has been a constant struggle (lovely, much of the time, but very hard). Partially to do with us not really knowing what we were doing for quite a while, but partially because we’ve seen two proto-recessions, incompetent political leadership, a global pandemic, and the stark impacts of serious climate change; all woven together into an anxious and unpredictable tapestry.

"We can’t help but feel that we are letting you all down, but the local economy just can’t support us in the current version of Filbert’s so we’ve run out of time.

"So thank you all for your suggestions of new and wonderful versions we could try. Thank you for the offers of cash or investment or collaboration. We see you, and we know that something may be possible from all of this love, but not for us, not right now.

"Thank you to our staff, to Sally, Antonio, Bonni, Madi, Zion, and Reuben. Who are all shocked and hurting and should hold their heads high. Thanks for being part of the Filbert's family.

"Thank you to our collaborators. Thank you to all of you, our friends and customers.

"We love you all.

"Please be patient with us while we grieve our way through this process, and if anyone can support our wonderful staff, we’d be very grateful indeed.

"Perhaps when the dust has settled, there will be space and energy for some new version of Filbert’s flavoured love."

Filbert's Bakery opened in 2013 and won Best Baker in the national Farm Shop and Deli awards in 2018.

Filbert's was renowned for making fresh bread every morning along with breakfast goods, cakes and savouries.

Last year a Crowdfunding campagn was launched to open a not-for-profit bakery 'Filbert's Too' at Halton Mill.

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