Our passion for product quality and freshness combined with good customer service has ensured continued success on the high street since Waterfields started up in business in 1926. A strong commitment to the future of the business has been a key factor in Waterfields being one of the largest employers in the local area. Product development is high on our list of priorities along with continuous investment in new equipment and technology, which together has contributed to steady expansion and a competitive position in the industry.
As in all companies, people are the heart of the business. Training and development takes place on all sites and many of our people have taken the opportunity to progress to management level.
A large percentage of the workforce has been with us many years. This wealth of knowledge and experience means a wide range of craft skills are retained and the invaluable underpinning knowledge is passed on to aid the development of the bakers of the future.
During the general strike of 1926, Alice Waterfield set up a small bakery in Mather Lane, Leigh, selling pies and confectionery to the local factory workers. As the reputation grew, so did business and soon her husband Albert joined Alice to work in the bakery. He left his job as a coal miner, after taking his qualifications in baking at Manchester Technical College where he studied at night after a day spent down the pit.
As trade flourished so did the involvement of the next generation. Daughter Hilda supervised the cake decorating department and later moved on to retail supervision. Albert jnr, who joined the firm in 1956 after army service, was later to become Managing Director in 1961, following the death of his father.
In 1984 the business had expanded to such an extent that there was a requirement to move the bakery again, this time to Manchester Road, Leigh.
It was around then that the third generation, Richard and John Waterfield became involved in the management of the business having spent several years both in the U.K. and Europe developing skills in the art of baking.
Today the bakery has modern facilities complementing craft skills by using up-to-date production methods and we believe that we have remained loyal to the founding ideals of product quality and service that meet our customer's expectations in the same way that Albert and Alice did in their early years.
At 71 years of age, yesterday, for the first time in my life, I bought one of your Large Devon Split loaves. This bread is so lovely, I had to take time out and write to you to congratulate you on a wonderful product. It is so soft, easy to slice and, above all, it has a superb flavour. Now that I have found you, I am sure your bread will become a regular purchase from now on. Very well done Waterfield's!
- Raymond Floyd -