Expansion at sweet treats chain set to create 130 jobs

A fast-growing retailer which sells artisan bakery products from Yorkshire through its outlets nationwide has secured a £250,000 loan from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Despite being launched just two years ago, Batch’d already has 24 sites throughout the UK. The funding will support its plans to add more locations, treble its turnover and create 130 new jobs in the next three years.

Batch’d sells high-quality sweet treats such as brownies and cookies from independent Yorkshire bakers. The Leeds-based company was founded by David Richmond who previously ran the taxi firm Arrow Cars. When demand for taxis dwindled during the pandemic, he started offering food deliveries, initially trading as Arrow Fresh.

The company soon began to specialise in bakery products and opened its first shop in the White Rose Centre in Leeds. It now has stores or kiosks in locations including York, Hull, Bradford, Sheffield, Manchester, Preston, Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham and – the latest – Wolverhampton.

Batch’d currently has 120 direct employees, in addition to supporting jobs in independent bakeries, and has a turnover of £6.5m. It plans to increase that to over £20m by 2026 and raise staff numbers to 250. The funding will enable it to install new kiosks, recruit staff to operate them and enhance its ecommerce site, to expand online sales.

David Richmond, CEO, said: “Our strength lies in our suppliers. We handpick the best small-scale bakeries and sell their products across Batch’d locations. We are enormously proud of our range and want everyone to feel included which is why we take our vegan range seriously. This funding will help us to continue our growth and bring Batch’d products to an even wider audience.”

Gary Whitaker of Mercia added: “Batch’d is a great post-Covid success story. David’s transition from running a taxi company to deliveries and then developing a fast-growing artisan bakery chain is truly remarkable. Batch’d is a hugely successful operation that offers high-quality products and supports independent bakers. We are delighted to support its future growth and help it create many more new jobs.”

Keira Shepperson at British Business Bank said: “Just as the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides access to funding to the North of England’s small business economy, Batch’d provides an essential service to the Yorkshire artisan bakery community by giving them access to a larger market for which they can grow. The team’s success is a phenomenal achievement in such a short period of time and is an example of what finance can do for entrepreneurs looking for a new business opportunity.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.