A COUPLE who have so far invested more than £250,000 to open two Warrens Bakery shops have plans to open four more in Wiltshire over the next four years.

Julie and Trevor Kerby, both 55, opened their first shop in Melksham High Street late last year and a second in Trowbridge recently, where they are now taking on more staff.

Mr and Mrs Kerby have a franchise contract to open six stores in Wiltshire over a five-year period and have already found premises in The Brittox in Devizes for their next opening, in March.

“The shopfitters are in there at the moment and it will take another three weeks or so before we’re ready to open,” said Mrs Kerby, a former accountant.

She and her husband, who live in Bideford, North Devon, are also hoping to open Warrens Bakery shops in Bradford on Avon and Marlborough.

“We do our research and talk to people but we tend to look at market towns because that’s where Warrens Bakery does best.”

Trading under the name, Acorn Holdings (SW) Ltd, the couple used a six-figure finance package from HSBC UK to help them to set up their first Warrens Bakery franchise.

The couple will also draw on further support from HSBC UK as they look to extend their number of franchises in the coming months, after opening their flagship shop in Trowbridge.

Already they have created 13 jobs for local residents and plan to create at least 16 more with the shops in Bradford on Avon, Devizes and Marlborough.

They have not yet decided where to open their sixth shop, but Corsham, Chippenham and Westbury could be suitable locations.

The couple are also considering expanding their franchise chain to in-store locations such as railway and petrol stations and department stores.

The award-winning Warrens Bakery, a Cornish pasty maker, has plans to open hundreds of franchise stores nationwide over the next five years.

Opening in partnership with Mr and Mrs Kerby, the shops will showcase the firm’s artisan range of breads, iconic pasties, freshly made sandwiches, sweet and savoury treats, speciality Cornish delicacies and on-the-go snacks.

Established in 1860, Warrens Bakery is proud to be the oldest bakery in Cornwall and was last year named ‘Craft Bakery Business Award’ winner at the National Baking Industry Awards.