Robinsons the Master Bakers Est 1864, 6 generations strong and proud! Manchester's oldest family run craft bakery!

Robinsons is a family run bakery based in Failsworth, Manchester. Our bakery in Failsworth was opened 8th January 1954 (David's birthday!) after a move from Rochdale Road in Harpurhey due to compulsory purchase by the late Arthur Robinson and his wife Joyce.

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David Robinson is the big boss. Managing Director, baker, sales executive,delivery person, accountant etc! David was first put in the giant bread mixing bowl by his dad Arthur when he was 7 years old at the Rochdale Road bakery in thedays when the ovens were coke fired & Arthur had to light the fire every Sunday for the weeks baking. After leaving school in 1971 David studied at Hollings College, or the Toast Rack as it was known, being classically trained as a baker and confectioner. He also attended Salford College, getting a flavour of continental confectionery from Helmut Proff, a renowned bakery teacher. David worked for Spillers as a trainee manager and it was during this time he developed his dislike for factory production methods. So off he went to the Cheshire countryside to work at Chatwins in Nantwich, where some of the finest cakes in the country were made. Over the years David has toured Europe to enhance his confectionery skills, and is more passionate today than ever in preserving the traditional methods required to produce quality products. 

Sue Robinson is the Mummy of the bakery. As a director of the Robinsons, Sue is chief of the shop and knows most of our customers personally. We think our personal connection with our customers is one of the reasons they keep on coming back, as well as the quality and selection of our products! Sue's main area is buffets. She spends alot of time during the day freshly preparing buffets for a verity of customers. Sue even grows seasonal produce to use on our buffets such as tomatoes, basil, rocket and lettuce. Sue is everyone's mummy.


Grace Robinson is chief baker. Grace makes all of the doughs from scratch every day and moulds them by hand into every loaf and muffin you see in our shop. All of our bread, pastry, and scones are made using traditional methods and secret Robinson recipes that have been passed down the six generations.





Karen Shivas is our confectioner. Karen joined the Robinsons team before any of the girls were even born - way back in 1978 after she had finished training at Salford College. Karen makes all of our cakes from beginning to end, including our wonderful celebration cakes.







At Robinsons of Failsworth, we value our staff. They are loyal, dedicated, smart and a whole bunch of fun. We believe in rewarding their wonderful loyalty fairly, and it goes without saying that all our staff receive every penny of their hard-earned pay. We are therefore devastated that a technicality has led us be named on a Government list of employers who have not fully met the National Minimum Wage rules. We take this really seriously and we wanted to issue this statement to explain what happened, and to reassure everyone that none of our staff have been out-of-pocket! 

In August 2016 we received a letter from HMRC, explaining that our business was going to be investigated along with many other bakeries for National Minimum Wage (NMW) Compliance. We were happy to help with this investigation in any way we could, and were confident that we adhered to all legislation. We agreed to HMRC officers visiting us, speaking to us and staff and collecting a vast amount of information and data. To our frustration, this process was repeated twice again following changes in HMRC personnel. By July 2017 we had spent around 60 hours of our time assisting the investigation. Finally, this has come to a conclusion which has genuinely surprised us, and will result in Robinsons of Failsworth being named as an employer that who fail to pay the NMW. However, we want to make clear that our staff have never been paid any less than the NMW set by the government.

We will be appearing on the list due to a technicality. We have for many years, used a HMRC approved software package which allows us to round up each week to pay our staff in cash notes only (i.e. to avoid coinage). The amount we round up gets deducted off the following week's pay. Then the amount is rounded up again and so on until the final working week for that member of the team. Although all of our team are always in an advanced pay situation for the whole period they are employed, pay in one isolated week may turn out to be strictly lower than NMW as a result of the 'round up' deduction from the week previous. The regulations do not allow HMRC to view this from a pragmatic perspective, but strictly on a week by week basis. This is the reason why we, and some other employers (in particular, smaller businesses), appear on the list. You will see we are not the only bakery on there! 

Of course, we 100% support the  Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's scheme  to enforce NMW. However, as the purpose of the list is to expose companies that are deliberately failing to pay NMW, we are devastated to be named. The list does not include an explanation for why each particular company has fallen foul, nor is there a forum for the employer to provide their circumstances, so we wanted to issue this statement to explain how we ended up there to our staff, our customers, our community and of course to anyone else who wants to read it! 

Since the investigation came to an end in March 2018 we have made extra payments to current and previous employees dating from 2014-2017 to address this NMW technicality. We have also updated our payroll system to remove the rounding up and all our staff are now paid an exact figure each week (including coins!)

We are currently following a procedure to lodge a complaint with HMRC, as we believe a more pragmatic, collaborative and commercial view should be taken by HMRC in respect of this, and understanding given to small, family businesses just trying to do what we do best - baking fabulous products for our beautiful customers. 

Thank you for reading, we hope this gives some clarity, but if you have any questions, we'd be happy to chat this through. 

David, Sue and Grace Robinson





Back in 2011 we joined Piccadilly Street Food Market in Manchester and we have traded almost every single week since. For us it has been a great success and we've met a lot of fantastic people who we now see and serve every week. The amount of Manchester Cobs, Manchester Tarts and Pork Pies we have made and sold is amazing and we hope everyone was enjoyed. 
Unfortunately, none of us are getting any younger and the time has come for us to make the decision to leave Piccadilly Market at the end of next week to allow my Dad David to start to retire.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank massively our dedicated team Emma, Melissa, Zak and Helena for working out in all weathers and every situation Piccadilly has thrown at us. 
And a huge great big thank you to every single one of you guys who have visited us whether it be once or twice when passing or every day we have been there. Many of you we consider friends and love chatting with.

Moving forward you will be able to shop with us in Piccadilly ALL next week from Monday 11th to Saturday 16th, and we'll be at Ashton Farmers Market on Sunday 17th. 
As always you can visit us at our bakery in Failsworth or our shop in New Moston. If you can't visit us out of the city you can grab a great selection of our bread from Ancoats General Store
Hopefully we will be coming back for the occasional market in St Ann's Square other locations around the city.

But for now we have to say bye bye. 
We hope our last week in Piccadilly will be special and many of you come and see us.

Much love 
David, Sue and Grace