Yorkshire bakery chain goes for growth with new CEO

Scarborough-headquartered bakery business, Cooplands, has appointed Belinda Youngs as CEO, as it continues to drive growth with new sites across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the North East.  

Belinda Youngs brings more than two decades’ experience in the grocery retail sector, both UK and International, to the role. She has previously held positions at Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Sobeys Inc., the second largest food retailer in Canada. An effective leader of large teams, Belinda has achieved significant success in commercial and customer roles across a wide range of functions, as well as experience in Non-Executive Director roles in both Canada and the UK.

Alongside Belinda, the business has also appointed David Salkeld as non-executive Chair. David brings invaluable experience from high-profile roles across the food industry, at businesses including Upfield [formerly Unilever spreads], the Ainsley Harriott Food Company and Wensleydale Dairy Products.

Founded in 1885, the fourth-generation business has been led by managing director Paul Coopland since 1985. Over 30 years, Paul and his team has grown the business from five shops to 160 across the north with a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. It is now the UK’s 3rd largest bakery chain.

In December 2017, BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor in growing businesses, invested £8.5m in Cooplands to support the business’s growth strategy and rollout of its shops across the north of England.

Since then, the business has opened 29 new trading sites – including new shops in Harrogate and Wawne in Yorkshire as well as Shiremoor in Tyneside in the last month – taking the total number of sites to 160 shops, 12 cafes and 35 sandwich vans. Cooplands retail outlets are typically located in busy shopping parades and high streets across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the North East.

Paul Coopland said“These are exciting times for the business as we continue to scale up and expand across the north of England. Belinda’s combination of big brand retail experience and entrepreneurial mindset, having founded and run her own businesses, made her the ideal candidate to help take the Cooplands into the next chapter of its growth story.”

Belinda Youngs, CEO at Cooplands, added:“Cooplands is a business with a rich heritage and culture, and with a significant opportunity to grow its shareholder value even further. I look forward to helping to build the brand, which focuses on producing quality products at great value, in formats and locations that continue to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s customers.”

Barry Jackson, an investor at BGF, added:Nearly two years on from our initial investment, Cooplands is going from strength to strength. Belinda’s appointment is the next step on that exciting growth journey and we’re pleased to continue to support the business as a long-term investment partner.”