Doncaster bakery spends the dough

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Pictured outside Cooplands (Doncaster) Ltd headquarters with two of the Bap Van fleet are (L-R) Yorkshire Bank commercial business  development manager, Richard Boor; Bap Vans divisional manager, Lynn Swanston; Cooplands finance director, Sarah Mullins and Cooplands chairman, Chris Peck.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Pictured outside Cooplands (Doncaster) Ltd headquarters with two of the Bap Van fleet are (L-R) Yorkshire Bank commercial business development manager, Richard Boor; Bap Vans divisional manager, Lynn Swanston; Cooplands finance director, Sarah Mullins and Cooplands chairman, Chris Peck.

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A Doncaster bakery has created more jobs by expanding its fleet of ‘Bap Vans’ to bring lunch to workers across the region.

The specialist delivery trucks, costing £600,000, have been acquired by Wheatley-based Cooplands after gaining backing from Yorkshire Bank.

The six new ‘Bap Vans’ deliver hot and cold food to offices and businesses across South and West Yorkshire, north Lincolnshire and north Nottinghamshire.

Yorkshire Bank’s business and private banking centre in Doncaster provided £250,000 of finance.

The new vehicles take the total size of the fleet to 25, making it one of the largest of its kind in the country, and a total of six new jobs are also being created.

Family business Cooplands (Doncaster) , which has 85 shops across the region, was founded in 1932 in Hallgate, Doncaster, by Alice Jenkinson.

Chris Peck, Cooplands chairman, said: “Busy working people do not always have time to seek out quality food for their lunch break.

“So, in partnership with Yorkshire Bank, we are rapidly expanding our fleet of Bap Vans taking quality, competitively-priced food to their doorsteps.

“Sales through our Bap Van fleet are increasing by £1.7 million a year.

“This is an important channel through which we can grow, at a time when the high street is proving extremely tough to retain or grow sales.

“Sales to our key wholesale clients, particularly for cakes, added £250,000 growth over the same period last year.

“The retail bakery market is fast-consolidating and innovating its products.

“Food scares and adverse consumer reaction to mislabelling issues have made customers increasingly concerned.

“They are more careful whom they buy from and strong local brands like ours give them confidence in the quality of the food they are buying.”

Cooplands, which also makes a range of savoury and sweet buns, pasties, rolls and cakes, currently has 650 staff and a turnover of about 
£18m.

Richard Boor, senior partner at the banking centre, said: “Cooplands is expanding through innovation, in the quality and the types of foods it offers and also its way of getting its products out to customers.

“These customers know they have a brand they can rely on at a time when the quality of some products has been called into question.”