Ground Bakery is on the rise with expansion

Ground Bakery’s latest bakery and cafe is now open as a takeaway 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 best places, with the new addition of the Cowbridge store due to open in early December.

First launched by chef Thomas Simmons and his wife Lois together with investors including Welsh rugby international George North and Barford’s Emma Owen Davies in Cardiff in June 2021, Ground Bakery is backed by the Development Bank of Wales with three investments to date totaling £220,000 being used to finance refurbishment costs. The fast-growing business also has a commercial bakery in Barry, supplying all three cafeterias and a range of high-profile business clients.

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 very close to Ground Bakery’s first cafe in Pontcanna.

Co-founder Tom Simmons said: “We are delighted to bring 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 that range from classic favorites to our most experimental flavors.

“Our vision for Ground is a chain of welcoming artisan bakeries and specialty cafes located in the best locations. With the help of the Development Bank, Pontcanna and Penarth are off to a great start, proving popular with the local community and visitors alike.

“We have really exciting plans to grow with the potential to also offer baking classes and dining facilities. It was the Development Bank team that helped make Thomas happen and their continued support as our long-term financial partner is now also a major factor in Ground Bakery’s early success.”

Richard Jenkins of the Development Bank of Wales said: “Boulangeries are an institution in France and 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 truly special and creates jobs for the local population. Ground Bakery has real growth potential as the team scales up the business in South Wales; We are eager to help make this happen, hence our multiple rounds of funding.”

The £500m Wales Flexible Investment Fund is funded by the Welsh Government and the Welsh Development Bank. Loans, mezzanine financing and equity investments ranging from £25,000 to £10 million are available to Welsh companies. Terms are up to 15 years.

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