Operating to the highest standards to meet customer needs – Potts Bakers has come a long way since it was started in 1891 by Emily Potts.
Emily Potts had 5 children and was married to George, who was a blacksmith. His smithy was at the top of the hill at Ardsley. She was 35 when he died and to support her family she started baking at home and her children would take the bread and cakes to sell locally.
As the business prospered Emily outgrew the family kitchen. The local squire, Mr Micklethwait who was very impressed with Emily’s cakes, offered her a shop with a bakery below in Stairfoot and over the years Emily purchased the premises. The photos show children playing in front of the shop and an accident when a flour wagon shed its load.
Arthur Potts, her eldest son took over the business when she retired. He and his family lived in the flat above the shop and ran the business through the First and Second World War.
Donovan Potts, Arthur’s nephew, took over the business, building up the product range and delivering to customers. When the large areas of housing in Stairfoot were demolished in the late 1950’s Don took his bread & confectionary to where there were more customers – Barnsley Market.
The stall was in the Saturday fish market and sales increased steadily. Donovan then took over a small permanent caravan stall at the bottom of the steps into the fish market. He could often be seen carrying a tray of fresh bread from his van, being followed by a stream of people to the caravan to buy their still warm, crusty loaves.
The business continued to thrive and became a limited company.
Potts Bakers was a member of the National Association of Master Bakers and Donovan Potts became Chairman of the Yorkshire Region branch.
The bakery was transferred to new premises at Stanley Road, Stairfoot. That same year Don Potts died and his sons, Andrew and Roger, took over the business. They had both worked at the bakery since the 1970’s and gained City & Guilds qualifications at Thomas Danby college in Leeds. Potts Bakers breads and confectionary won many prizes and trophies for high quality.
Potts Bakers developed contract baking and our cakes were sold in all the national Supermarket chains under the Respect brand.
Today Mathew Potts is the fifth generation of the Potts Family to run Potts Bakers using his 26 years of experience of all aspects of the bakery. We pride ourselves on our quality baked goods and still strive to maintain the original high standards set by Emily Potts to meet our customers’ requirements.