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Norwich baker to close business after 12 years

PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:25 17 September 2019

John Watt, owner of Pye Baker in Norwich, has closed his business. Photo by Simon Finlay.

John Watt, owner of Pye Baker in Norwich, has closed his business. Photo by Simon Finlay.

A baker is hanging up his apron after 12 years in the business and is picking up his climbing boots instead.

Pye Baker has closed after 12 years Photo by Simon Finlay.Pye Baker has closed after 12 years Photo by Simon Finlay.

John - nicknamed Grimsby - Watt and his wife Sally have chosen to close their business, Pye Baker.

The couple began winding down with the closure of their shop in Dereham Road and have since told their commercial clients they would also be closing their wholesale bakery in Aylsham Road.

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Mr Watt said: "We wanted to quit while we're ahead. Sally and I have been running this place for 12 years and it's often be six or seven days a week. It can be a 24 hour job as well when you get a van broken down in the middle of the night."

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Mr Watt had a team of six staff which have been made redundant; however he has helped them finding new roles as well as passing clients on to other local businesses.

"Sally and I just want more time together," he said. "I also really want to start mountaineering. I'm nearly 50 and I've been on my feet in a kitchen since I was 15. Sally and I really enjoy hiking and I want to do some more before my knees give out."

Mr Watt will be closing the business on September 28, with a stand at Fakenham Makers Market as well as a pop-up shop outside his wholesale bakery.

He said: "We did have a potential buyer but that fell through. To be honest we'd rather close Pye Baker when it still has a good reputation intact instead of selling it to someone who might run it into the ground.

"The last thing we wanted to do was keep operating and then go bust and leave other small businesses unpaid. We've had it done to us and we hate people who run a business for their own profit, bankrupt it and then pop back again under a new name a few weeks later."

Mr Watt will continue working in the food and drink sector and is running a 'Pye Baker's Secrets' workshop at the Richard Hughes Cookery School in Norwich's Assembly House on November 20.

He said: "I'll also keep the Pye Baker facebook page running as a bit of a blog - I might actually have time to post a bit more now."

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