Staff at Norfolk store ‘shocked and saddened’ by the death of ‘Mr B’

Michael Baker, MD of Bakers & Larners in Holt. Pic: Archant library

Michael Baker, MD of Bakers & Larners in Holt. Pic: Archant library

The chairman of Bakers & Larners in Holt spoke of how upset staff were at the sudden death of MD Michael Baker – but were carrying on with business as he would have wished.

Bakers & Larners in Holt. Pic: Archant library

Bakers & Larners in Holt. Pic: Archant library

Jane Gurney-Read, now acting MD of the CT Baker Group, said staff were doing as Mr Baker would have wanted, carrying on with building the business and serving the customers.

The CT Baker Group is made up of Bakers & Larners of Holt, CT Baker Builders Merchants and CT Baker Budgens and Mrs Gurney-Read took over as its chairman last year to see the group to its 250th anniversary next year. It is understood she had, however, worked with Mr Baker for over a decade.

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Mrs Gurney-Read issued the following statement to this newspaper today: "All at C T Baker Group are shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of Mr Baker, 'Mr B' to the team.

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"He had been the managing director for some 45 years and throughout this time had built the business into the successful company it is today.

"He would be the first to say that he didn't do it on his own but with the support, hard work and loyalty of the staff and management.

"For our part we are going to do what he would expect and that is to carry on, continue to build the business and to serve the customers."

Mr Baker, the boss of one of Norfolk's oldest stores, took over as MD in 1974 and grew it to enormous success, both in terms of the number of staff employed and its turnover.

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Today tributes were being paid to the man who put Holt on the map, creating a store which has the Duchess of Cambridge among its customers.

He leaves a wife, a daughter and three stepsons.