Sudbury and the Bakers story
The Bakers story begins at the Cornard water mill site in Sudbury, Suffolk. This site has a very long history; the Cornard mill site itself was recorded in the Domesday Book. Owing to its excellent position on the river Stour, which supplied its power, the mill was in constant use over the centuries. By the early 1800s, steam was introduced to drive the millstones. And in 1851 the Bakers association with the mill began, when it was acquired by Edward Baker, a miller, who used it to set up his family flour business.
In the late 19th century, Edward’s son, Sydney, developed the mill to produce biscuit flour for the new biscuit factories in the north of England, Scotland and Ireland. With the coming of the First World War, in 1914, the milling industry came under government control until 1921. By 1929, the board at Edward Baker Ltd decided to develop an animal feed business that, in 1930, became one of the early providers of farm feeds in the region. Trade flourished until the outbreak of the Second World War, in 1939 when, once again, Bakers was taken into government control, lasting until 1953.
Flour production continued but profits were becoming increasingly hard to come by and, in 1968, the mill ceased flour production. By this time, the company was cooperating in the production of fish and laboratory foods which gave Bakers the knowledge to launch Omega, our first complete dry pet food, in 1975.
The Bakers pet food business grew to a range of dry and semi-moist foods and, by 1985, it was the company’s sole product. In 1990, the Chilton site in Sudbury was acquired and the current factory was built, just a mile from the original Cornard mill. In 1991, another milestone, the nutritionally complete Bakers Complete Dry Dog Food, was launched. In 2002, all production was moved to the Chilton site and the Cornard mill was finally closed. Today, Bakers is still made at the Sudbury factory and, we’re very happy to say, remains the UK’s favourite dry dog food.