Gail’s Bakery is considering expansion up North, alongside changes in its supply chain to support expansion, MD Marta Pogroszewska said during an interview at the Lunch! trade show on 14 September.

While the premium bakery chain currently has a central production unit and foothold in Southeast, it is lining up sites farther North but being selective about expansion.

“Growth for the sake of growth and numbers wouldn’t take you far,” she said. “Our scope for growth is the whole of the UK, but we have a very tactical approach to it.

“We’re thinking of where we want to be in the next few years so our supply chain will follow and evolve.”

Gail’s has opened c35 sites since the beginning of the pandemic, and 15 this year. Pogroszewska named the recently opened Cambridge and Spitalfields Market sites as major steps in Gail’s growth.

“We’re lucky to be vertically integrated so we can support ourselves,” she said. “We’re self-funding our expansion.”

She also spoke about increasing the brand’s adaptability following the pandemic, while maintaining culture and consistency. Gail’s has expanded its range of vegan and healthier options, but seeks to maintain its perception of indulgence, Pogroszewska says.

“At the end of the day, we’re a bakery and that’s what we do best. The perception of indulgence will stay with us. That’s what’s beautiful about our brand.”

Gail’s will also continue to focus on its coffee offer, owing to the increasing number of competitors in the coffee market. Pogroszewska named Blank Street Coffee and Watchhouse Coffee as two of the brand’s primary competitors.

“There’s much more of a coffee offer in London than there was two years ago,” she added. “Since the pandemic, we’ve also learned to maximise all channels.

“We’re not a digitally led brand, but we want to be savvy.”

The brand has recently begun a trial with Just Eat Takeaway after its success with Deliveroo. Alongside maximising all channels, it also seeks to focus on its core breakfast and lunchtime offer to tide the headwinds.

“Our evenings are not strong because we’ve never developed the offer,” Pogroszewska said. “It’s important to focus on what we’re good at. We’re activating all channels but we want to focus on our core.

“When times settle, perhaps sometime next year, we can explore day parts.

“When you do something really really well, it will last.”