Luxury sweet treats producer secures Barclays funding to help them through lockdown.

A Burnley-based developer and manufacturer of premium sweet treats for the coffee shop, retail and foodservice markets has secured a £250,000 funding from Barclays via the CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme), the Government-backed loan scheme. The finance will ensure that the business can get through a difficult time for the whole industry.

Founded in 1984 by current Managing Director Gary Entwistle, Cherry Tree Bakery started life with one product and a unique processing technology. Regional favourites including Chorley Cake and Parkin followed and for many years, the business found success supplying their heritage range to the major multiples.

The coffee shop revolution in the early 2000s led the business in a new direction and through innovation, continuous investment and a singular vision, they made the leap to become a market-leading supplier of premium muffins, brownies, handmade traybakes, loaf cakes and mini-bites for the coffee shop, retail and foodservice sectors. From their purpose built BRC Grade AA manufacturing site in the heart of Lancashire, Cherry Tree produce and distribute over 40 million indulgent hand-finished sweet treats a year.

However, with the effective shut down of the hospitality, retail and food service sectors, many of the clients they supply had to close their high street outlets, presenting significant impact on sales until normal trading resumes. Thanks to the support from Barclays through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the additional working capital has helped fund the operational overheads of the business during this disruptive period and ensure they have the funds available to enable a fast return to normal trading when their clients are allowed to open their stores.

Gary Entwistle, Managing Director of Cherry Tree Bakery, said:

“For us, the ease of applying for the loan was extremely helpful and will enable us to rebuild the business, and to cover working capital requirements, as we look to recover from the period associated with the Coronavirus lockdown.”

“We asked, and our bank stepped up.”

“Our Relationship Director, Shakira, and the team dealing with application were first class throughout the whole process. Providing financial forecasting for the short to medium term was never going to be easy but, Barclays and Cherry Tree worked closely together to get this done. We asked, and our bank stepped up.”

Shakira Musarat, Barclays Relationship Director, explained:

“Gary and his team have put in a huge amount of work to build Cherry Tree Bakery into an innovative and well respected business, so when coronavirus impacted them, we moved quickly to discuss how Barclays could help. As a bank, we provided the necessary information so the company could make the right decisions in a difficult situation. The CBILS loan will give the company enough fuel to get through in this uncertain time and be ready to bounce back quickly when demand returns.”

About Barclays’ COVID-19 business support measures

Barclays is offering a range of measures to support business customers through this difficult period including waiving everyday charges, and fees for all business customers with a turnover below £250,000, capital repayment holidays and new overdraft facilities. For further information, please visit barclays.co.uk/business-banking/coronavirus/ or barclayscorporate.com/covid-19/