The Myers family – award-winning bakers
Succession in a family business can be one of the most difficult transitions to navigate but Myers of Horncastle are a fine example of how to make it work for the benefit of everyone concerned.
The pedigree of the Myers family as bakers goes back more than one hundred years, to Charles Myers who baked his very first batch of Lincolnshire plum loaves in Alford in 1901. Today his great-grandsons, Richard and Michael Myers are the current owners of the traditional family bakery, based in Horncastle. Having recently celebrated forty years of business in the small market town, the bakery continues to go from strength to strength.
Based in the heart of the bakery, Michael, along with his small team of dedicated craft bakers is responsible for producing their wide selection of breads, ranging from traditional favourites, such as wholemeal, granary and milk breads to speciality lines including spelt and honey and the increasingly popular low Gi bread.
Richard oversees all production in the bakery including their delicious range of morning goods, cakes and fresh cream. Richard describes how he is keen to develop new recipes and likes to vary the selection on a daily basis to keep it fresh and exciting, while keeping on top of the latest trends. He believes the range of breads and confectionery produced in the bakery is of a very high standard. It is this passion and pride in their work which led to the bakery receiving a prestigious ‘highly commended’ in the craft business category at the National Bakery Industry awards in 2008, an accolade that all the family are very proud of.
One of the most famous products to come out of the bakery is undeniably their Lincolnshire plum loaf. This deliciously moist fruit loaf is handmade on the premises using only the finest quality ingredients available and is the first and only plum loaf to win a gold in the famous Great Taste Awards. The traditional Lincolnshire delicacy is also rapidly gaining a reputation outside of the county where it can be found in selected Waitrose stores and other quality food outlets throughout the country, including both the prestigious Windsor and Chatsworth farm shops. Richard’s children, Robert and Marie, were the most recent family members to join the business and are keen to spread the word about their signature product. Having recently just added a ‘buy online’ facility to their website, they will also be promoting their plum loaf at various food shows over the summer, including this month’s Lincolnshire Show.
The café tearoom situated next door to the bakery was launched over ten years ago and attracts locals and tourists alike for morning coffee, lunches and afternoon teas. In response to customer feedback they have just launched a new menu featuring additional specials each week. The homemade cake range is exclusive to the tearoom and is produced by Jane and Mandy Myers, who mix and bake them from scratch. The range varies daily and upon arrival in the tearoom customers are presented with labels hung from a sign showing the cakes available. Thumb through to find temptations such as Jane’s Mrs Beatty’s chocolate cake and Mandy’s Victorian fruit cake to name but a few!
The delicatessen was established three years ago as an outlet for some of the produce that people had so admired as ingredients served in the café and bakery. Since then Robert has continued to source exciting brands that he feels customers will like, alongside a range of Lincolnshire produce showcasing the best products the county has to offer from other local suppliers such as Mountain’s Boston sausage and Greendog jams and chutneys. The cheese counter is another area where local produce shines, with classic Lincolnshire cheeses sitting alongside a range of over fifty national and European cheeses and a selection of fresh olives.
The Diamond Jubilee will not go unrecognised by Myers either. In 1977 they sent a plum loaf to the Queen to mark her Silver Jubilee. They received a letter of thanks and a request for ‘an encore’ from Buckingham Palace and will mark this year’s celebration in a similar way.
“The most satisfying part of our work is seeing all three food shops working in harmony,” concluded the family. “And seeing how excited people can be about the products we serve.”
With a vision of even greater quality and value for their customers, Myers can be proud that the achievements of the new generation will perfectly complement the traditions of the past.