A popular artisan bakehouse in Bloxham, which had to close in May after its lease ran out, is appealing for someone to help it find a new home.
Sharon Tomkinson and Sarah Jeffery ran Bakergirl for three years, which proved to be a hit among local people, selling bread, pastries, cakes and coffee from a converted barn at Wykham Park Farm.
But in May the owners had to close the doors when the lease ran out and since then, they have been looking for a new home, but with little success and time is running out.
The search has included meetings with landlords and landowners over the summer as well as support from Cherwell District Council’s business and planning teams.
Mrs Tomkinson said: “We are contacted daily by loyal customers wanting to know where and when we will be re-opening, but so far we have no good news to share as what we need seems to be a tall order.
“We are retail as well as a production operation so we seem to fit between planning guidelines. We have looked at renting, buying or even recently building our own Bakergirl on finding two pieces of land locally.
“It seems unlikely planning at West Oxfordshire District Council will support the locations and so we continue to look further afield but so far our search has failed to find anything suitable.
“Our customers have been fantastic and are still supporting us with messages even now, despite having been closed for months. In our last days before we closed, our social media reached tens of thousands and so we know there is demand out there for what we do.
“It seems crazy there is nothing around, but everything we have tried has fallen through or hit a brick wall for one reason or another.”
To operate, Bakergirl needs a large area for baking as well as space for a cafe, ideally a converted barn measuring around 300sqm. A major challenge for the business is it is labour intensive and some of the rents the owners have been quoted will not allow the business to operate successfully.
High street rents are also unaffordable, so the owners are looking for an out-of-town location.
Mrs Jeffery said: “Please, if you have or know of a suitable building locally that would relish the opportunity of helping Bakergirl live again we would love to hear from you before the clock stops ticking.”
Contact Bakergirl at firstname.lastname@example.org.