A much-loved south Liverpool bakery urges ‘use us – or lose us’
1 year ago
A caring south Liverpool bakery which opened on Christmas Day so no-one in the community had to be alone is facing closure after a collection of setbacks have left it struggling to survive.
Catherine Braidy bakery on Aigburth Road, is just weeks away from shutting its doors for good.
Braidy Maloney, who co-owns the shop which specialises in cupcakes, occasion cakes and afternoon teas, says: “I think we have about a month left in us unless things start to improve.
“And that is heart-breaking.
“We are trying to get back on an even keel and hoping people who love us will come out and support us.”
She adds: “We were pretending things were okay for too long, and they’re not. Things are really bad.
“If we close down it affects us of course. But independent shops like us closing down erode the community that we have tried to integrate ourselves with, and be very much a part of, too.”
Braidy, 43, who runs the shop with 46-year-old Cath Williams, was speaking after the pair issued a statement on Facebook today, urging customers to ‘use us, or lose us’.
In it they said: “It’s hard to know how to say this without coming across as desperate, but in all reality we are desperate.
“Since opening we’ve been hit with a pandemic which saw us close for two months, then saw us serve takeaway only for over a year.
“We thought we’d be back on track after that, but we’re hit with months of water works right outside the shop, massively impacting footfall and sales.
“Now we’re in the midst of a cost of living crisis, not to mention energy prices soaring.”
Energy increases have had a massive impact on the business which needs electricity to bake the cakes, as well as heat and light the shop. The cost of ingredients has also risen dramatically, and Braidy says: “We appreciate that we’re a luxury and everyone is struggling, but the harsh reality for us and many others is that we need people’s help to survive.
“And maybe when things are hard, people need a little treat?”
The pair, who’d previously had their own cake businesses, started their joint venture in the Baltic Triangle before moving it to Aigburth Road in 2019.
“We had been going for about six months and everything seemed to be going right before the pandemic hit, so we closed for two months and then sold takeaway from the front door for over a year.
“Things were getting back to normal and we were recovering until the water works started last year and then people couldn’t park, and business dipped.
“People ask how you are, and you say you’re okay, you put on a front and smile because no-one wants to see a sad face, especially if they’re having a difficult day.
“But the reality is, we’re here, surviving week by week, on the cusp of closure because it’s been so dead.
“It’s frustrating because it’s things outside what we do. Like other independent business people we know we are doing a good job.
“It’s about changing people’s perceptions and outlook, and raising awareness. They go to large chain stores but in lots of independents like ours the quality is better, and the service is better.”
Braidy goes on: “People who come in say how they love that we’re here, they come in for a chat, and they tell us how they love buying things from us.
“So the post was a rallying call to say if you can pop in over the next couple of weeks, please do.
“Like many other independents it’s a case of use us – or lose us.”