WE ALWAYS want the best for our money whether it’s in days gone by, the present or in years to come.
For some businesses that can mean a complete overhaul but at others thankfully there are some things that need never change.
As Milners Bakery in Quay Road looks to celebrate its 50th anniversary year, yes the menu has grown and services have expanded and improved, but at the heart of the business are still Grandma Florence’s time-honoured recipes serving the town as well as they always have.
That history is in every taste from the hand moulded bread to freshly baked cakes to mouth-watering game pie.
There is no such thing as a pre-mix at this proud bakers where everything and anything you see on the counter is made by hand on that same day, guaranteed.
Now run by a third generation, Milners Bakery still lives by the motto – “If they wouldn’t eat it themselves, they wouldn’t serve it to you.”
These values handed down over the years have kept the business going strong and it’s quite simply this teamed with excellent service and delightful food that has kept customers coming back year after year.
Since Florence Milner opened the shop in 1962 with son Tony, the business has always strived to give customers what they want.
In its 25th anniversary year the shop was run by Tony and wife Hazel with their daughter Caroline learning the fine tunings of this special family heritage.
“Everything’s got to be perfect” as she and husband Richard Clark know so well.
Caroline said: “We still use the best ingredients we’ve always used although there’s a lot more variety now.
“Now we do lots of pasties, 30 different varieties of cakes and a large selection of hot and cold sandwiches in almost any filling you want.
“Everything’s progressed a lot and things are much better.
“We’re thankful we’re still here, you have to have very high standards, everything has to be perfect.
“Along with lots of regular people and word of mouth, this has kept us going.”
For Christmas Milners is now selling traditional pork pies and mince pies alongside seasonal goods and all your favourites.
Certainly worth a try is the home-made game pie which has remains a popular choice of Milners Bakery’s many customers – these are baked daily until they are sold out so make sure you get one early!
Supplying to local cafes and restaurants, outside catering for events and celebrations, phone and postal orders are some of the new services added over the years.
Many customers have stayed with Milners since day one and the bakery launched its own home delivery service not only to help its older customers but to serve the whole area.
Milners Bakery Christmas cakes are made using Florence’s traditional recipe with a good helping of brandy and rum which you simply won’t find in the local supermarket.
They’re still proving a winner and this year they’ve been posted across all across Britain.
It’s not been unheard of for Christmas cakes to make their way to Cyprus and a Milners Bakery tiered wedding cake flown all the way to Germany!
Although he first started out making single square cakes, Tony has become a master of celebration cakes of varying designs and is still baking to this day.
Commitment and dedication in the daily running of the bakery make the difference and it’s service with a smile at any time of day!
Several of the staff turn out at 2am to begin a day’s baking making sure that customer needs are served everyday.
Despite the early hours, there’s a distinct family atmosphere present in the shop.
From a total of 12 workers, not one has worked less than 10 years at the shop.
Caroline’s daughter Gemma has also continued to lend a hand in the family line of work, and most impressively Ian has clocked up 16 years as a baker, Sharon Clydesdale has reached 26 years and another baker has worked there for over 40 years.
Caroline added: “It’s all about keeping people happy. We have a fantastic team, they make the business what it is.
“It’s extremely hard work but we enjoy working here and we keep the standard up.”
Milners Bakery looks set to continue its success by honouring its original values in everything it does.
Caroline, Tony, Hazel and Richard have thanked all their customers old and new and all the staff who have worked extremely hard over the years.
To celebrate their anniversary and the festive period, all orders taken between now and Christmas will be entered into a free prize draw to win back the cost of your order – whether it’s for a single pork pie or a £100 hamper.
The winner will be drawn on December 24.
Milners Bakery is open Monday to Saturday from 9am-4.30pm.