Ground Bakery is on the rise with expansion

Portfolio Executive
Growing a business
Ground Bakery

The latest boulangerie and coffee house by Ground Bakery is now open as a take-out service on High Street, Cowbridge.

With sites already in Penarth and Pontcanna, this fast-growing business aims to bring a taste of French culture to the very best locations, with the new addition of the Cowbridge shop opening earlier in December.

First launched by chef Thomas Simmons and his wife Lois along with investors including Welsh rugby international George North and Emma Owen Davies of Barford Owen Davies in Cardiff in June 2021, Ground Bakery is backed by the Development Bank of Wales with three investments to date totalling £220,000 being used to fund fit-out costs. The fast-growth business also has a commercial bakery premises in Barry, supplying all three coffee houses, and a range of high-profile trade customers.

As a co-founder of Ground Bakery, Tom opened his first Welsh restaurant in early 2020. Also backed by the Development Bank of Wales, Thomas by Tom Simmons is just a stone’s throw from Ground Bakery’s first coffee house in Pontcanna.

Co-founder Tom Simmons said: “We’re delighted to be bringing Ground Bakery to Cowbridge. Inspired by our love of good coffee, bread and pastries, Ground captures the very essence of French culture. We use only the highest quality organic ingredients combined with traditional artisan methods to produce our baked goods which range from classic favourites to our more experimental flavours.

 “Our vision for Ground is a chain of welcoming artisanal boulangerie and speciality coffee houses located in the very best spots. With the help of the Development Bank, Pontcanna and Penarth have both got off to an excellent start, proving popular with the local community and visitors alike.

“We’ve got really exciting plans to grow with the potential of also offering baking classes and dine-in facilities. It was the team at the Development Bank that helped make Thomas happen and their continued support as our long-term funding partner is now also a major driving factor in the early success of Ground Bakery.”

Richard Jenkins of the Development Bank of Wales said: “Boulangeries are an institution in France and the coffee culture continues to grow here in the UK. Tom, Lois, George, Emma and the other investors have combined the two to create a concept that offers something really special and creates jobs for local people. Ground Bakery has got real potential for growth as the team scales the business in South Wales - we’re keen to help make this happen hence our multiple rounds of funding.”

The £500 million Wales Flexible Investment Fund is financed by the Welsh Government and Development Bank of Wales. Loans, mezzanine finance and equity investment ranging from £25,000 to £10 million are available for Welsh businesses. Terms are up to 15 years.